A Rose is a Rose.....is Rachelle
Our Rachelle, formerly known as "Rose" in blogland....graduated with her first nursing degree. CNA....Certified Nursing, whatever.
Rose first started working for us when she was 14.......long before any normal legal standard.....along the lines of those kids sewing soccer balls in Pakistan for the Taliban......50-60 hours, along with high school.
We immediately saw that she had many gifts: completely unflappable under pressure, no matter how severe; great visual sense; superior organizational skills; an ability to function at high levels no matter how long the hours and how weird the situations.
By the time she was 15 she was directing crews of college grads; by 16 she was running the appetizers at big parties routinely. Presidents of corporations, Senators, Governors.....whatever. Each platter had to be perfect, and had to get out quickly.
Her parents fell into the Bible trap.....and thought her business success was a threat to something something involving discipline. They sent her to Bible Camp....and she was sent home.
They sent her to Christian High School.....and was sent home after her editorial in the school newspaper about abortion and pre-marital sex.
There are horrible things that I cannot tell you right now that she experienced.......Really bad.
She responded with a wry smile....and kindness steeled with irony and forgiveness......She actually had absorbed all the Christian lore she had appeared to reject.
Her parents responded by dialing down the knobs and turning up the pressure.
She was at least once grabbed, restrained and hustled off to the Garden Pavilion at CHOMP because of acting out.
She texted me from the psych ward....under the covers....and I was such a dumbshit that I called her back and got her busted when the phone rang. She was shipped off to San Francisco for evaluation and repair.....and caused insurrection in every ward she was placed in. Sort of "Pink Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest".
Meanwhile.....Rose is not a rebel. She is a kind, sweet, hardworking girl....completely unafraid of taking responsibility for each and every one of her actions.....and all of those of her friends as well. She just was born with a very low tolerance for bullshit.
When she graduated from Carmel High, we planned a big party......It had to be abandoned because her parents evicted her from their house on the afternoon of her graduation. We had to get our van to go up and retrieve all her girlhood possessions before they were thrown out. She left her bed in her room in case her cousin came to visit.....and the parents charged her rent for the space on the floor that the bed absorbed.
Rose is an athlete....and endurance horse rider. 5o miles, 100 miles, 150 miles.
After she met Medea Benjamin, Rae Abileah and her crew at Code Pink....she adopted Pink as her color....and sprayed her competition horses pink for every ride. Rose has pink Croc's.....she had a pink car.....and if you bring her a present, it better be pink in some way.
Meanwhile, she picked up odd jobs as a nanny......and wound up flying back and forth from Salinas to Seattle, watching out for kids in a nasty divorce.....and working for Child Protective Services one or two steps removed.
All the while continuing to work Monday Nights and catering for A Moveable Feast.....where her skill, kindness, and low tolerance for bullshit are legendary. One fine local chef one Monday perhaps inadvertently condescended to her because of her age. When she brought him his dessert, at the phrase "Happy Birthday, You Asshole!".......she lit his hair on fire instead of the candle.
Do not mess with Rose.
Matt.....word to the wise.....if the nurse's aid who comes in to place your catheter if, god forbid, you wind up in hospital.......check her shoes.
If there is any pink......run.
Last year, she decided to load on Nursing School on to her already scary load.....Working as a volunteer at old folks' homes and at the Garden Pavilion with the whack jobs, many of whom are our friends, neighbors and colleagues....changing bed pans, doing catheters, enemas....the whole joyous end of life ballroom dance.
Long story short.....she graduated last week with her CNA
I tried to introduce her to a board member of Salinas Valley Community Hospital tonight.
Salinas Valley does not have a psych ward. She really wants to work with the whacko's....
I have three great sons....who have far exceeded any expectations I could ever have had for them.....I have stopped being proud, because it is boring to everyone else.
Rose.....Rachelle..... is the same kind of daughter.
And not even mine.
I am continually amazed that one needs a license to drive a car......and still anyone can have a child with no training or monitoring.
And the kids still manage to succeed despite the worst of the worst.
There may be some hope for us after all.......
Here's to you, Rachelle.
I am proud to be your friend.