A Social License III: Nursing Synchronicity

“It all depends on how we look at things, and not on how they are themselves”

Carl Jung

I love the moments of synchronicity Jung calls “significant coincidence.” Like when I need a topic for my nursing blog, and find it in a non-nursing setting, like last Friday, while shopping for a pair of pants for work in a department store.

She was unlocking the dressing room door for me, when the sales clerk, a young woman maybe twenty years old, asked if she could find other articles of clothing for me to try on. I told her I was shopping for work pants. She retrieved several pairs for me to try, then asked what kind of work I do. I told her I am a nurse.

“What kind of nursing?” she asked.

“Oncology,” I answered.

“Do you give chemotherapy?”

“Yes, I do.”

Nursing is a social license, meaning the public perceives us on duty even when we are not. Nursing strikes a chord in people concerned about their loved ones.

“My mom was a nurse,” she said.

For a moment, I don’t know what to say. Does she mean her mother changed careers, or does she mean she’s dead? It’s one thing to ask about a stranger’s possibly dead mother in a hospital, altogether something else to begin such a conversation in the public setting of a busy department store.

She throws me a bone: “My mother had cancer, so she isn’t working, but she’s in complete remission. She’s done with chemotherapy. It was hard, because she doesn’t live in this city, and I was here, going to college. She didn’t want me to miss college because of her cancer. Her nurse friends were really nice, not fake nice, really nice. They did a lot for her.”

I told her I am also a cancer survivor, and that you can’t have better friends than other nurses when you are ill. I told her I’m sure her mother wouldn’t want her to shipwreck her own life because of her cancer. I told her it was good she continued her college education.

Was it merely coincidental this young woman’s mother is a nurse, and a cancer survivor like me? Or did the encounter hold a deeper meaning? I don’t know, but I left the department store with the warm feeling I get when I feel a connection to another human being.

Maybe synchronicity is never significantly coincidental. Maybe synchronicity is the simple human need to reach out to each other in a meaningful way, and especially to a nurse.

Mother Mary and Me

 
Mother Mary Comes to Me photo J.Paradisi 2009

Mother Mary Comes to Me photo J.Paradisi 2009

     Yesterday I walked out the door of the clinic where parked alongside the curb was this turqouise Galaxie with its backseat passenger. I recognized her immediately and snapped a picture. I love Significant Coincidence and I am passing it along to you.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Let it Be
Lennon/McCartney
 
When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.
 
And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree,
There will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is
Still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be.
Let it be, let it be, Yeah
There will be an answer, let it be.
 
And when the night is cloudy,
There is still a light that shines on me,
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
There will be an answer, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.