Friday, October 26, 2018

October 26: The Pequod Meets The Delight, Update, Sister's Legacy

The intense Pequod sailed on; the rolling waves and days went by; the life-buoy-coffin still lightly swung; and another ship, most miserably misnamed the Delight, was descried. As she drew nigh, all eyes were fixed upon her broad beams, called shears, which, in some whaling-ships, cross the quarter-deck at the height of eight or nine feet; serving to carry the spare, unrigged, or disabled boats.

Upon the stranger's shears were beheld the shattered, white ribs, and some few splintered planks, of what had once been a whale-boat; but you now saw through this wreck, as plainly as you see through the peeled, half-unhinged, and bleaching skeleton of a horse.

"Hast seen the White Whale?"

"Look!" replied the hollow-cheeked captain from his taffrail; and with his trumpet he pointed to the wreck.

"Hast killed him?"

"The harpoon is not yet forged that ever will do that," answered the other, sadly glancing upon a rounded hammock on the deck, whose gathered sides some noiseless sailors were busy in sewing together.

"Not forged!" and snatching Perth's levelled iron from the crotch, Ahab held it out, exclaiming- "Look ye, Nantucketer; here in this hand I hold his death! Tempered in blood, and tempered by lightning are these barbs; and I swear to temper them triply in that hot place behind the fin, where the White Whale most feels his accursed life!"

"Then God keep thee, old man- see'st thou that"- pointing to the hammock- "I bury but one of five stout men, who were alive only yesterday; but were dead ere night. Only that one I bury; the rest were buried before they died; you sail upon their tomb." Then turning to his crew- "Are ye ready there? place the plank then on the rail, and lift the body; so, then- Oh! God"- advancing towards the hammock with uplifted hands- "may the resurrection and the life-"

"Brace forward! Up helm!" cried Ahab like lightning to his men.

But the suddenly started Pequod was not quick enough to escape the sound of the splash that the corpse soon made as it struck the sea; not so quick, indeed, but that some of the flying bubbles might have sprinkled her hull with their ghostly baptism.

As Ahab now glided from the dejected Delight, the strange life-buoy hanging at the Pequod's stern came into conspicuous relief.

"Ha! yonder! look yonder, men!" cried a foreboding voice in her wake. "In vain, oh, ye strangers, ye fly our sad burial; ye but turn us your taffrail to show us your coffin!"

Friday night.  Finally.  After a week of really long days, I'm ready to relax, kick up my feet for a few minutes, and . . . clean my house, grade papers, and get ready for next week.  That's what I do.  I move from week to week, work to work.  Sometimes it feels like I never get ahead.  I'm the Pequod, always on the move in search of the white whale.  My white whale just happens to be a nap.

I have an update on my job situation at the medical office.  The doctors who do surgery at the facility where I work are jumping ship.  After December 31, they are taking all their cases to a hospital down the road.  The nurses are hunting for other positions within the health system.  Every day I work there is full of black clouds--again like the Pequod, sailing across the ocean, carrying a casket on its deck.  All of these things are occurring because of rumor and supposition.

Yes, I'm upset about the idea of losing a job that I've held for nearly 20 years.  Worried about the possible loss of income and health insurance.  But all that isn't what's really bothering me the most. 

My sister built the surgery center where I work.  I remember her sitting in a square space, roughed in by metal beams, the blueprints spread out on a folding table in front of her.  She wrote the policies and procedures.  Ordered the equipment.  Hired every single staff member.  Contacted the doctors.  Went through the accreditation process with the state and Joint Commission (a national organization that surveys all hospitals and medical facilities).  She was there to cut the ribbon on opening day.  And, for 25 years, she kept the place running through some very rough seas.  She really cared about the people and the place.  She built a family.  And she worked herself to death.  Literally.

Now, everyone is throwing up their hands, turning their backs, giving up.  My sister could have done that so many times during the quarter century she ran the place.  She could have taken easier, better-paying jobs.  She didn't do that, because she believed in something better.  It wasn't about money or power.  It was about doing something she really loved and trying to pass that love along to the nurses and office staff and scrub techs and surgeons.

So, I'm a little upset at the doctors and administration and coworkers who are making this rumor a self-fulfilling prophecy.  They are planning for doomsday, and their actions are probably going to cause doomsday.  They are killing my sister's legacy.  She won't even be a footnote in healthcare in this area.  All the policies and procedures she wrote (her signatures are still on the pages) will be thrown out.  And she will be gone.

I want to see the place stay open for selfish reasons:  when I'm there, I can still feel my sister close by.

Saint Marty is thankful today for what his sister built. 

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