Two years

For me, it’s been two years.

On nights.
Two years since school was over.
Two years working the “dream job.”
Two years since the last time I got a full night’s sleep.
And two years since I got to tell my dad I did something.

He shook his head when I told him and said that he thought it was something very few people could do. Or do well.
He emphasized, “good for you,” but he looked sympathetic, adding that he was glad someone in the world wanted to do this job.

The job cleans up well, when you tell others about it. It sparkles in the sun and sounds like a badge of honor you wear because you help “save lives.” Or at least that’s how you spin it when you don’t want to reveal how emotionally draining it can be.
If you’re like me.
To this day, I tell anyone who will listen about the thriller stories from trauma, like notches in a belt. Trophies from something I got to be a part of.

But, also if you’re like me, you leave out the part about losing the patient who reminds you of your dad. You leave out the part where you got spit on or you can’t find a homeless shelter with any vacancy. Or you had to call child protective services.
And you leave out the part where you can’t sleep even on the nights you aren’t at work.

And after two years loving nights but feeling like I’ve aged 12, I have more news I want to tell my dad. Not that I’ve had none until now, it’s just that this is important.

This is my last week of nights. My last week of taking to much benadryl and staring at the ceiling.
And the day I found that out, my best friend asked me to marry him. And you would have absolutely loved him.
And, within the week, we’ll get to meet Callan. And in another month, Megan’s daughter.

And Dad, you’re really missing a lot.