I opened a package from my Momma today with some shirts, a book and a photo album. Inside the package, was a printed email to my Aunt Roseann from a co-worker at the hospital where Roseann works. My mom had told me about the letter but reading it now seriously makes my heart ache … my aunt is an oncology nurse and runs a foundation called Team Inspiration. (I’ve written about Team Inspiration in previous blog posts). Well, a few days before Christmas, my aunt received an email from a woman named Ann. This is what it said:
Subject: We have a connection
Roseann, I was so moved by what you showed us today with regard to the excercise program you have developed and I wanted to learn more about your foundation as well as your personal story. You are simply incredible, and such a gift to UMMC and your patients! Thank you for everything you do and give to all of those you help. While reading your story, I came across a name that will resonate with me for the rest of my life … Mike Blimmel.
Roseann, your brother was my first patient. My very first patient as a brand new, second career oncology nurse at BWMC. I took care of your brother on my first shift…that was in the summer of 2005. Your brother is unforgettable to me because of his strength, his kindness, and overwhelming love he had for and with his family. Mike knew I was a new nurse, and that I was terrified. He was incredibly kind and supportive of me … cheering me on and telling me what I great job I did hanging that bag of IV fluid!! I had the privilege of taking care of him frequently; we all fought over Mike because he was a such a special guy. I was his nurse the day he passed … I still remember the love that surrounded him and how his wife was cuddled beside him. That was one of the hardest days I have ever had, but I just want you to know how your brother has touched my life. I credit him in many ways for making me an oncology nurse, because he was the very first up close and personal experience I had with the humbling and awesome strength of so many of our patients. And I thought you should know that. Take care, and God Bless. Ann.
I don’t remember this nurse, I’m sure she was wonderful, all of the nurses that took care of him were truly awesome … it touches my heart that out of all of her patients over the last 5 years, she hasn’t forgotten him. It doesn’t surprise me I think about him every day. He was everything she said; a wonderful man with more love in his heart that you could ever imagine and I will never stop missing him. Thank you, Ann … for taking care of him in life and letting his memory live on in your heart just like he will always live on in mine.
Rest in Peace Michael Blimmel, 1958-2006. I love you Daddy, I miss you.