Adams, Cynthia C. EdD, MSN, RN
Author Affiliation: Capital Community College, Hartford, Connecticut.
The author has no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.
Correspondence: Cynthia C. Adams, EdD, MSN, RN, Capital Community College, 950 Main St, Hartford, CT 06103 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Accepted for publication March 13, 2013.
The Waiting Room
Dedicated to Annie, Judy, Toni, and Margarita
After surgery and chemo, there is the waiting room
For seven weeks, we gather for the last lap
We sit in our johnnies, and conversation begins
Greetings, encouragement, laughter, reflection
Women from all backgrounds sharing one common bond
We journey now together and share stories of treatment
What our doctor said, what the test results revealed
We listen, we smile, we move past the trivial to substance
Our families, our lives, the meaning of the threat
Our well wishes and prayers for each other, the bond grows
The waiting room is powerful, nourishing, transformative
Women of the same cloth, no need to veil or feel awkward
No need to hide the scars, the burns, the wigs, the prostheses
As graduations come, we hug, we celebrate, we hold onto the hope
One by one, we leave the waiting room, and new recruits fill our chairs
But the safety of those friendships goes with us as we realize the healing has begun
My Hospice Wish for You
Dedicated to Joseph Peter Schipani, 1954–1983
I wish you peace, oh great warrior
Peace of mind, peace of body, peace of spirit
Let all the tensions go now, and come to the quiet with me
The battle is over, the war only distant memory
Embrace the ceasefire: no more scans, no more invasions,
Breathe in only harmony, and let it gently wash over the wounds.
I wish you healing, oh great soldier
Healing of your mind, knowing that you have given your best
Healing of your heart, knowing that all is forgiven and accepted now
Healing of your soul, knowing that your restless spirit can claim the calm
Let go of the fear, let go of the burden, let go of the guilt of leaving
Drink in the music, the art, the nourishment of all that is good in this world
I wish you hope, oh loved one of mine
Hope that you will find a way to grab hold of the grace
Hope that you will let the people you love the most into your circle
See our gentle smiles of greeting and feel the warmth of our hand around yours
Trust that we can and will survive; trust that we carry you forward
You will live on in our hearts, in our memories, in our purpose on this earth
Close your eyes now and let me read you The Velveteen Rabbit one last time
The wisdom of the Skin Horse rings even more true, your “hair has been loved off”
You feel “loose in the joints and very shabby,” but please know dear one
The light of your teaching to all of us these past months is warm, inspiring, and precious
Life’s periphery is a distant mile, and only the essence of relationship is revealed
The very best of who we can be together is all nourishing in this moment of final truth.