This week at the Scientific Assembly of the IAFN had been one of learning, hilarity, and poignancy. And of course good food! The course work was good. I attended many lectures that invigorated me and gave me ideas that will stir up the pot on our arrival back home. There were over twenty INSANE here, a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) from INdiana! It was great to have their company here, to wallow in old friendships, to get to know some people better and to see the dedication of this group of nurses from all over the state! After corresponding with one guy from Indiana, for years, but whom I had NEVER met, finally I have a face to put with the name! We all enjoyed the freedom of not being in call, I think. Some enjoyed it ore than others! We laughed (and of course I sniffled too) at our IAFN board and staffers preform the Vagina Monologues. Then there were the tears that nearly fell as an award was bestowed posthumously and it made me think of my friend Joanne WIlson. It made me tear up. I had to think of something other than the fact that the last time I really got to sit and chat with her was at the Assembly in MInneapolis Minnesota. I remember of talking about her decision to step down from her director level job, to be a staff nurse and more present mother. Of her mothers living with them, of her fears and how good it had been. I remember talking about my personal woes of the time and her support.
Joanne was the coordinator at St. Vincent's Center of Hope, she was my mentor and my friend. She was a cheerleader to us, encouraging when we were afraid, always telling us that it would be easy. Often it was not, but she gave us the courage to forge ahead. She always was a never ending bringer of bagels and somewhere we have lost sight of that, a fact that has ( So, I am informed) been detrimental to the attendance of our SART team. She had a smile that was purely Joanne and occasionally I catch a glimpse of it on another face and am reminded of her. I have to confess that I have not removed her for my outlook at work, just for the occasional reminder of seeing her name.
The best food i had on this trip was a place called Wild Fire, while the food was good the wait felt endless on both visits in spite of the reservations! I must admit that the manager tried to alleviate the pain with a cocktail! My special of the day, Beef wellington, was a delight a medium rare filet with a lovely mushroom topping, baked in s puff pastry ensconced in a fabulous sauce, that and a glass of their house wine made me feel lie human again!
The hotel was the Crown Plaza Ravinia and it was a lovely experience, set amidst five acres of woods, there were lovely pathways accompanying creeks, fountains, trees and critters. It was a small breath of peace in the middle of a huge city.