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The Waiting Room; My Hospice Wish for You

Adams, Cynthia C. EdD, MSN, RN

doi: 10.1097/NCC.0b013e318299ad4c

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 (

Accepted for publication March 13, 2013.

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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

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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.

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins