As some of you may (or may not) know, I'm a nurse. Specifically I'm a med-surg/tele nurse. My unit has the (theoretically) least-sick patients in the hospital, meaning that I typically take care of at least 5 at a time and they come and go quickly. I estimated once that I take care of over 50 patients a month (and I only work 15 days a month). All this to say, if a nurse has ever taken care of you and when you run into each other in WalMart she doesn't remember you, there's a good reason. Generally, if I remember a patient they were either very unpleasant or things didn't go well for them. But not always. Sometimes patients just stick with you. And that's the way it is with Mrs R.
Mrs. R was my patient back in about October of last year. She was admitted with something fairly minor, particularly considering that she was over 90 years old. She was a charmer, always pleasant and smiling. I remember her being concerned about missing Seniors Game Day at the library, an event she coordinated and ran every week for seniors- mostly younger than herself- who needed some place to socialize. She was anxious to discharge so she could drive to Dallas to meet her new triplet great (possibly great-great?) grand babies.
Her sister, also in her 90s, came to visit her one of the days I took care of her. They were both retired school teachers, with the tiniest most perfect English teacher handwriting I've ever seen. Had both outlived their husbands. Both still driving and living alone. Something about them just grabbed on to me. Mrs. R and I exchanged Christmas cards last year.
I saw her again on our unit, sometime in the Spring. She had come down with heart failure-- the common cold of the elderly. Unfortunately it's chronic and progressive. But she was still maintaining her usual schedule of obligations.
On Thanksgiving day I happened to see her again, admitted to another unit in the hospital, and it was such a sweet reunion. She told me that she had prayed we would see each other again and there she was, sitting in the hallway as I was leaving at the end of my shift. She was anxious to make sure I still had her address and I assured her that I'd kept it. This year, I said, maybe you'll even get a present ;)
So naturally I had to make quilts for Mrs. R and her sweet sister. Smallish so that they can fit on a hospital bed or over a wheelchair. As cruel as it is time marches on, and I can see that Mrs. R is more frail than last year. I backed them with cozy flannel and pieced in the leftovers from the front.
This was my first time to try rolling the backing over for a binding. I love the look, but it took just as long as binding the conventional way. For some reason I had thought it would be faster.
These went in the mail today, with a Christmas card, on their way to Mrs. R. I told her that she gets first pick of the quilts, but I have a suspicion that she'll want her sister to choose first.
It's so wonderful to have patients who remind me of why I went into nursing, even if it is not very often. I hope these quilts will bring love and warmth and that these sweet ladies have many happy years ahead of them full of grand babies.
Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday.