My mother loved being a nurse. She worked hard to achieve her RN and wanted to go onto school to complete her BSN, though that never worked out for her. She spent a large part of her career at the VA hosiptial, working with vets. Her gentle touch and ability to converse with individuals whose experiences still haunted them, to make them feel cared for, was amazing. She went on to work in nursing homes, in home health, and focused on pediatric patients as well as geriatric patients. She was a hospice angel to so many patients, and toward the end of the career, when her body was failing her, she worked as a nursing instructor. She loved teaching. After her death, as I was going through belongings that were still in storage, I found boxes and boxes of handouts, training materials, inservices she’d created. She always had an idea for a way to help educate the nursing staff and to present information.

She also trained me in basic CNA skills when she became unable to stand or walk and I took over her daily care. For someone whose idea of fixing things was to unplug it and plug it back in again (Hey, I’m a computer person.), she had patience and told me she felt better cared for than she had in the nursing home where she’d gone for rehab that never happened.

I never imagined myself as a healer. I boxed up my proverbial nurse’s cap when mom passed away. And then, as I was finishing my associates in Agriculture, I looked at my opportunities for a bachelor’s degree. As much as I love my farm, I also knew I wouldn’t be getting an ag-adjacent career once I graduated. Other than working at the feed store for minimum wage, there isn’t much around here. I saw psychology as a major I could obtain online. And so, that, along with religion, is what I’m pursing.

I wrote previously about being afraid to talk about wellness and that, in a way, goes hand-in-hand with realizing that in my own way, I am carrying on my mom’s legacy of healing. Instead of working within the traditional healthcare system, a system which has failed me and so many others, I am choosing to work in a different realm, in the realm of holistic healing and energy work.

Holistic healing involves seeing an individual as a unique being, the sum of their experiences, their learning, and all aspects of the health. Mom was able to heal by using her nursing knowledge and her compassion; I will use my spiritual knowledge, my mind-body knowledge, and my compassion to help people as well.

I’m ready now to take on this legacy, to continue the work of helping people understand themselves and discover what health and wellness means in their lives. I’m excited to begin this journey. I hope you’ll join me.

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