We have so many people who enter our lives, some a fleeting influence, some who inspire us to reach higher, do more, and remind us how precious is life. I acknowledge and celebrate the memory of my friend and colleague Christine, who had demonstrated such strength and can do attitude as she coped and defeated a few times the disease of cancer. The rounds of chemo, the outlook of hope this time it works, her dedication to nurses and the importance of our work at point of care.
Christine was our pragmatic, no nonsense (and balanced with humour, caring, and kindness) Executive member who reminded us “what can we do for the staff nurses….” and she would draw from her vast experience of mental health practice, management, leadership, teaching, public health, and joined our wine sessions as we brainstormed, drafted documents, and kept the wine supply steady as we reworked our first resolution to be presented at the Annual General Meeting of RNAO 2014.
We were thrilled when word came of her new status of grandmother, she regaled us on her joy of holding her grandson (so beautiful were the words she used), we collectively were concerned when we recognized her increased fragility at our Annual Think Tank. Though it did not detract us from a delightful evening of free drinks when the restaurant turned into a set from the movie Noah, as we enjoyed the simple pleasures of eating together, sharing stories, and celebrating our recognition as Interest Group of the Year. Though we had the feeling of dread at her physical appearance Christine still took the lead on our Nursing Week mail out–a care package for our staff nurses.
By the way Christine was born and raised in New York, she was very clear that it was her starting point and she was proud of her country Canada, and the strength of a publicly funded health system. Namaste my friend you are missed, know we are grateful you touched our lives and inspired us that a cancer did not define you–it was your attitude, aptitude, and fortitude that needs to be remembered. (courtesy of Paula Manuels Life of a Nurse Blog July 2014 )