With age comes wisdom ... and a sense of humor
Jacqueline Vance, RN
Anyone who knows me well knows I idolize my dad. He's taught me so much that there is no way I could quantify it all.
I learned in first grade how to pronounce anesthesiologist (my dad's profession.) I learned from watching him that family is a priority. Dad waited until he finished school, finished his residency and established his specialty before having children because he wanted to spend time with us.
I learned almost every single fairy tale because Dad would act them out with my sisters and me. I learned that you never alter who you are to please people; and if they don't like you that's OK — you'll find someone who likes you just the way you are.
I learned that you are never allowed not to like someone because of their race, creed, religion, etc. After you meet someone and you don't like them, then that's OK. Dad taught use to respect all and that everyone deserves dignity.
Dad taught us things like its important to enunciate because it doesn't matter how smart you are, people won't listen if you don't speak well. Through Dad's eyes, I learned to be amazed at how the human body works and heals. And I learned that he has a heck of a sense of humor, albeit sometimes inappropriate.
My dad recently turned 90 and we had this surprise party. He was surrounded by family and friends who roasted and toasted him. It was heartwarming and validating to hear so many people say what they, too, have learned from my dad.
Then my dad stood up and gave an impromptu speech. He spoke about how much he has learned in this life. He began by declaring that a man is a measure of his friends and family and as you age, that becomes more important. He added that it is a wonderful thing to look back at your life and realize it is a gift — to recognize how delightful it is to be surrounded by family and friends. He continued in that vein until just about everyone had a tear in their eye (or a look of shock because my dad is not really “the sentimental guy”).
And THEN he said the stuff I would expect from my dad, like, “I've learned that at the age of 90, you pee in Morse code. You just forget what the message is by the time you are done.” And, “When you're younger man, you need an adrenaline rush to feel alive. At this age, a good BM is a life validating experience!”
Yeah, that's my dad. So I keep learning from him, and now I learned that with age not only comes wisdom, but there also comes a wonderful sense of humor.
My dad was my hero and teacher when I was growing up and now he's my role model for growing older. In his unique way he teaches me how to deal with aging with grace and humor. I wish I could have 90 more years of him. I still have so much to learn.
Just keeping it real,
The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, a 2012 APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. She has not starred in her own national television series — yet. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.