I wanted to be a doctor. Or a nurse. Or in some kind of field where I could nurse and care for and help heal people. The sick, the hurt, the bleeding and the wounded. I wanted to be a Florence Nightingale of sorts…
I met my future mother-in-law in St 8. She worked at the Marifont Maternity Hospital in Pretoria. It was the first time I had been able to be in a hospital as a ‘caregiver’ – on the ‘giving’ instead of the receiving end. I attended a natural birth 😯 It was a total mess! I almost died! 😯 I passed out and had to be resuscitated. The instrument trolley too… I never really got to witness the birth 😦 I never got to care for or help heal anybody… other than myself and the nasty bump on my own head.
I was advised not to attempt a career in the medical field – apparently there would always be blood, sweat and gore involved in one way or another 🙄 . Then I received an invite to visit the local mortuary. A friend worked there part-time and asked me whether I would be interested in ‘undertaking’ – i.e. make-up, hair and dressing dearly departed for the ‘occasion’. I was so fascinated! And decided to give it a try. I can’t tell you how, although it may seem macabre, satisfying it was to perform/pay (almost) the very last respect/dignity for a person in this way.
It was one of the most rewarding undertakings (literally) that I had ever been involved in.