I miss using my critical care nursing skill set, which I developed over many years of practice. I could rely on my intuition and instincts, and almost always knew what to do. There is a nursing theorist who describes that process, and has written that it takes 10 years to get from novice to expert.
I don't think I could go back into the ICU again. It wouldn't be the same, and I don't think I could handle the relentless 12-hour shifts any more. I do miss it, thought. As I was writing this, I remembered the reason I thought about it. We drove past my old hospital on the way to take a walk in the rose garden and have lunch at a dim sum place in midtown.
The rose garden was lovely as always. There were lots of people in the large park surrounding it, but very few people in the garden--mostly volunteers doing some pruning and watering. We wandered around for about a half-hour, sometimes stopping to sit on a bench and take it in.
This reminded me of my grandfather's back yard. Not the grandfather I write about--the other one who died when I was fairly young--my dad's father. Our birthdays were one day apart, and when he turned 80, I turned 8. I remember him as an old man. His name was Joe.
I like the haziness of the picture. When I think of his back yard, it is hazy and somewhat desaturated in my memory, much like the image above. I could have sharpened it up, but let it be. I prefer my memories somewhat hazy.