I still cannot believe she is gone. Her hearty, contagious laugh and effervescent spirit always set me at ease. She is the sole reason I didn't quit my nursing orientation, why I kept coming back for more despite wanting to turn and run the other way, the person who told me, "One day, about 9 months from now...it' just going to click ,Kelly. It's all going to come together." I wish she were still here to read my post from last week.
Her name was Tara. She was 38 years old. She was my clinical nurse educator at my first real job. She died in her sleep Saturday night. She left behind a husband and four little kids under the age of 12. I got the dreaded phone call on Sunday night. My heart sank, my stomach dropped, I had to hold back the vomit. I last spoke with her on Thursday as she was frantically trying to get something up on the employee continuing education website. Weird, how you never think that a conversation with someone could be the last.
I'm going to the funeral on Thursday. However, I wish I had more time. I wish I could write her kids and husband a letter sharing with them, a side of Tara, that only those who worked so closely with her could know. Tara , usually running "a few" minutes late, would sit in front of the class, so casual (never formal or stuffy) with her half wrinkled lab coat because surely it had been thrown in the back of the SUV while she drover her kids back and fourth to hockey/dance/baseball/soccer/gymnastics/lacrosse/CCD, etc. She'd digress and get off topic, but those tangential lessons served us all well in life (i.e. I now know the best time of day to cross a bridge that is under construction). She was always sipping Coke from a straw, and 98% of the time would have one of her little girls pink or other bright colored scrunchie in her hair. She talked in her thick New York accent and always made us (and herself) laugh. She knew not to take anything to seriously. She was an avid believer in taking breaks, teaching what was relevant, and never putting anyone down. Tara loved everyone; Everyone loved Tara.
Thanks for everything.
Love and miss ya!