From Medicine to Music to Writing #MondayMusings #OpenBookBlogHop #Inspiration

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.

Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography

 

 

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “Do you think the child you were would be impressed by the person you’ve become?

My child self wanted to be, among other things, a paramedic, after watching Emergency on television. She also considered being a nurse. So, she’s probably asking me, “What are you doing sitting in front of a computer when you could be speeding off in a fire engine to help a little girl whose hand is caught in a swimming pool drain? I must admit I steered clear of swimming pool drains after seeing that episode, but I digress.

Having limited vision would make rescuing people and providing medical attention tricky, to say the least. Now, of course, there are blood pressure monitors and other devices that talk. But there’s no technology that can tell you where a person is bleeding or what sort of injury a person has.

That was one thing I disliked about being my late husband’s caregiver. The typical man, he didn’t tell me if anything hurt or if he had a skin lesion. When aides from the local home care service who helped him take showers pointed anything out to us, he just brushed it off. You can read more about that in My Ideal Partner. But I’m digressing again.

In eighth grade, when I threw up after dissecting dead frogs in science class, I realized a medical career wasn’t for me. In college, while majoring in music therapy, I was required to take a physiological psychology class where we cut up dead sheep brains. Why would a music therapist need to know the parts of a sheep’s brain? Did I really want to be a music therapist? I should have been affronted when the instructor waived my lab requirement because of my visual impairment, but I was relieved.

My younger self should be proud of me for the fifteen years I worked as a music therapist with nursing home residents. Okay, so I wasn’t using a chain saw to remove a little girl’s hand from a swimming pool drain, but sing-alongs, name that tune, and musical memories brought smiles to many faces, and I’m pretty sure that little girl in the swimming pool wasn’t happy. Now, I entertain and inspire others by putting words on paper, and frankly, I don’t care what my child self thinks.

How about you? Would your child self approve of what you’re doing with your life now? You can click here to participate in this week’s hop and read what others have to say.

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New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

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My Favorite TV Doc

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a paramedic after watching episodes of Emergency on television. I fantasized about marrying one of the firefighters and working together as a team, him putting out fires and me tending to the wounded and riding with them in the ambulance to the hospital. Fortunately for those who might have been entrusted to my care, I realized later that the health care profession was not a viable option for someone with a visual impairment.

When I was in college, I became a fan of MASH, a TV sitcom about doctors at a mobile army surgical hospital in Korea during the war. My favorite character was Hawkeye, one of the doctors played by Allen Alda. He could take a bad situation like war and make it funny, even though it wasn’t. He inspired the following poem which appears in the fall/winter edition of Magnets and Ladders. You can read the full issue at http://www.magnetsandladdeers.org .

HAWKEYE

Named after the character

in The Last of the Mohicans,

he’s the doc I’d want to have

if I were wounded in Korea.

 

Like any single man,

he flirts with nurses, USO stars,

Even a doctor and a journalist,

But he knows better

Than to use them.

 

At the end of the day,

With his great sense of humor,

terrific bedside manner,

he makes war funny,

even though it’s not.

 

Did you or do you have a favorite television character?

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver, and That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

Order That’s Life from Finishing Line Press.

Order That’s Life from Amazon.