I'm packing in preparation for vacating my room at the B&B for the summer. The exam that will conclude my first year of nursing school takes place on Tuesday, and I leave for home on Wednesday. I'll return to this room at the end of August to begin my second and final year of nursing school (at least for now - I'll have my AAS degree when I leave this room at this time next year).
In this room I've eaten way too many bags of dark chocolate, popcorn and baked pita chips and not nearly enough broccoli. I've developed a deep appreciation for the Food Channel here, watched a number of Los Angeles Lakers games, and played silly Facebook games. I've witnessed record snowfall, spectacular northern lights, and moose from the window in this room.
Most importantly, I've learned in this room. Learned how to hear heart and breath sounds through a stethoscope, find the pulses in my feet, draw medication into a syringe, wrap a wounded limb, identify a number of diseases, write a proper nursing diagnosis, and craft a decent case study.
I've learned how to love my husband more deeply here. I've been away from home for most of the past year and he has not once complained. He goes to work every day in part to put me through school, takes care of our house and animals, and never, ever whines about having to shoulder keeping the home fires burning alone.
I've learned how desperately I need my sister in my life. She is the only person on the planet who knows me so well that she can find a way to talk me down from the proverbial ledge no matter how close I am to toppling. She is my touchstone.
I've learned that my cousin Georgia accepts me exactly as I am and loves me anyway. I can count on her, and she supports me unconditionally. Just before I started school she gave me a greeting card and in it wrote, "enjoy every minute". I look at that card every day and it reminds me that I wanted this, and that instead of bemoaning the workload I must celebrate it.
Last but not least, I've learned that nothing is more rewarding than pursuing one's passion.
Thank you, Mom. I miss you, but I know you're watching me from wherever you are and you're glad I'm spending the money you willed to me on this amazing, exciting, glorious life I'm living in this room.