Chapter 22

That night with Jody, I went over it all again. I worried I’d made a mistake; overstepped along the way. We both knew I could be a little quick to take over. Actually, according to Jody, I was more than a little bossy. But no, after hearing the story, albeit from my perspective, Jody thought the situation did call for a quick decision and both me diving in and me recruiting reinforcements were required. The only saw-off for Jody was whether or not I suggested Linda call the unit for help, or if I ordered her to call. I re-sawed-off on it being in the ear of the beholder.

Once we had sifted through the details of my predicament, I needed advice about what to do with Linda. Jody vetoed all my ideas. But then who could blame her, they were mostly all illegal. “Hattie, why do you have to do anything? Why do you want to resolve every conflict?”

“Well, why wouldn’t I?” I was genuinely confused. “Isn’t it good to make peace and play nice?”

“I say just let it go. I have conflict at work all the time. There are just come people I don’t like. I stay cool but civil. I don’t need to do a group hug and make everything right. I can sleep at night.”

“But I have to work together with Linda. We need to be on the same page!”

“That’s bullshit and you know it.” Jody wasn’t pulling any punches tonight. “You can work just fine until she decides to come to you. Just let it go Hattie. Don’t try to fix it all. I agree with Rudy, let the dust settle. ”

“Are these comments meant to double as support right now? Because I’m not feeling the love.” I pouted.

Jody embraced me and tenderly stroked the back of my hair. “This is the love Precious. If I didn’t love you, I wouldn’t care if you knocked yourself out against that brick wall called Linda. Let it go. Remember that cute Buddhist monk. Think about it as the conditions and consequences. If it’s that important some kind of solution will reveal itself without one inch of effort on your part. You trust Rudy right?” She could sense my nod. “And you trust me, right?” She sensed the next nod. “Then you ought to also trust yourself”.

A gear shifted somewhere deep in my mind and I believed her. I could make, and have made, interpersonal problems worse by trying too hard to fix them, conditions and consequences. Then again, I have also mended relationships by being persistent in resolving conflict, conditions and consequences. I figured that in this case, I would heed Jody’s advice and see where the chips fell. At the very least, I felt unburdened of my wicked day. “I don’t think a Buddhist monk ought to be referred to as cute…” signaled my shift away from the matters so lately at hand.

“Don’t get jealous darling, I meant cute in the kitten sort of way.” And that signaled that Jody had moved along too.

Before we fell asleep…I curled against Jody and asked “Jody, if anything ever happens to me, will you find someone else?”

“What are you talking about now?” She rolled over and would have been staring me in the face if it hadn’t been dark in the room.

“I’m just wondering”.

“Wondering? Geez Hattie! Right before I fall asleep you want drama?”

“Sorry.” I said genuinely. “With all the other stuff that went on today I didn’t get a chance to think about my conversation with ‘the dying woman’ until just this minute.”

Jody kissed my cheek and gently murmured, “I don’t think I’ll look for anyone else if you die. You may have spoiled me for the real world”.

“If you wore my ashes in an amulet around your neck it would scare other women off… But then you might not be happy alone. Or maybe you wouldn’t be happy without me, regardless.”

“I’m pretty sure there’s a dangling participle in there. Anyway, this is a daytime conversation”.

“OK. Love you; good night”. A few minutes later, I could tell Jody hadn’t fallen asleep yet. “…. I was thinking, I’d like to be cremated wearing my pj’s.” Bridie’s idea was a good one.





My writing experience comprises, almost exclusively, academic papers and technical/ professional reports. However, I have lost faith in these methods as paths to real change. My doctorate is in Education, specifically transformative education and through my research and my work, I have come to the conclusion that people learn more through stories than journal articles. Therefore, instead of investing in the usual strategies for pedagogy, I am leaning toward fiction as a way to change minds about social issues and dilemmas. I believe stories can un-other social interpretations in a way I feel I have failed to in all my academic and professional writing. I hope to convey some alternate ideas about the work I have done for 35 years, as a mental health nurse, psychometrist, educator and administrator.

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