A Vacuum and a Torch

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A Vacuum and a Torch

I retired from nursing this June of 2022. I was so happy and relieved that I no longer had to do this.
But even at my age of 66…. I’m still trying to find myself.

The house that once seemed very small with me and my husband and our three children and many neighborhood children laughing and playing and dancing and singing … and climbing into my van to go to the next adventure… the amusement park, roller skating, swimming, a few cruises and Disneyland and the Bahamas and Mexico ….and teaching our children right from wrong. Good from bad.

How to study, how to learn how to be serious and how to have fun and how to be sincere.
And now that house that once seemed so small and so filled with family and friends, is very large to me.
Just me and my 2 dogs.My husband died 5 years ago. Our children are grown, all college educated with careers and spouses and then some grandchildren.

It’s such a vacuum.

I wanted our children to have the best. I wanted my children to have fun and enjoy their childhood. I worked many hours a week. Many times 60 hours a week. So they could have nice clothes. So they wouldn’t be laughed at.

I wanted them to have everything I didn’t have.

We encouraged curiosity and education and music and sports. Their home plate was love.

And now the quiet still.
I’m not sure if I accomplished enough.
Did I stay on the right path.
Where do I go from here?
Do I die in my sleep?
Do I finally become that author that I’ve always wanted.
Do I hope that I’ll infiltrate my granddaughters with my genetic love?

It’s a vacuum.

It’s a reflection and retracing my steps backwards of what I should have done. What I could have done. And knowing that I broke the cycle of my parents alcoholism, of their negativity, of their ultimate repeated taunts of failure towards myself.

I’m hoping that if there is one more second left in my life…. I will be given the nod of approval.
That I did the best I could to break the cycle I was raised with. To break the cycle of a bad and unfaithful marriage from my husband.

That I can hold my head up and know that I have passed on to generations to come of strong, happy, insightful people.
To pass the torch for the betterment of mankind.

It’s a simple thought but also a sky full of galaxies thought.
I pray I’ve made a mark.
A profound mark…. One day at a time.

Debbie Moore-Black is an ICU RN and blogger. Her stories offer ideas to improve care, discuss dilemmas facing patients and healthcare providers, provide a little humor, and offer opinions and insight on dying & dignity.

She can be reached at:




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