Suffering and Resilience.

 My patient was back.

When I cared for him last week, he was stubborn and non-compliant to the nurse’s orders. By the end of my shift, the fire in his spirit left me exhausted but also amused.

But today, he was on palliative care. His feisty resilience had been extinguished to a quiet, tired shell.

A social worker had given him a soft teddy bear. I watched him smile feebly and press it’s soft fur tohis face.

I held his hand and sat at his bedside, and for 12 hours I watched him fall in and out of the earth.

My job is not glorious.


It is often filled with impatient demands and disgusting work.

My job is tiring, sometimes nearly intolerable.

Until moments like this.


This is a necklace my mother gave me when I was little. It is a mustard seed. I am not traditionally religious, but I find it soundly ironic that I wore it today for the first time in years. As the tale goes, Jesus said,

“If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”