Since Last We Spoke, Forensic Nurses Week 2018 and Midterm Elections

Happy Forensic Nurses Week to everyone! It’s a fine time to take a moment and celebrate the excellent work we all do, although I hope it’s not only appreciated this one week each year. This week is also important here in the US, because it is the critical midterm elections tomorrow. It is it important for us as individuals and professionals, but it’s also important for our patients, many of whom represent populations outside the dominant culture, many of whom have preexisting conditions (or will have preexisting conditions after the violence they have experienced), many of whom have tenuous status as residents of this country (and have that status used as a weapon against them in violent relationships), and most of whom are women and are watching their bodily autonomy slip away with each passing week of the current administration (not just abortion access, but access to birth control, to include emergency contraception). So no matter what you think of the quality of the candidates, no matter how exhausted you are by all the political rhetoric, simply not voting is not an option. Roxane Gay made the case brilliantly in this essay for why your disillusionment doesn’t give you a free pass to just stay home.

It was a very emotional week, following the shooting in Pittsburgh, and for us it was a week of travel capped with services Friday¬†night. Along with 800 members of our community, we turned out at our beloved Sixth and I synagogue Friday night, the place Sasha and I call our spiritual home, for Shabbat services. Prior to standing up to say the Mourners Kaddish for the 11 killed at the Tree of Life synagogue and the two killed in the Krogers parking lot the day prior, our Rabbi asked that we rise in three waves: the 1st wave would be allies–those non-Jews who came to support the Jewish community, to pay their respects to the lives lost, and to stand shoulder to shoulder with us; the 2nd wave would be the Jews in the room (however they chose to define themselves), who were new to 6th and I or at least didn’t identify it as their spiritual home; and the 3rd wave would be those of us who called 6th and I our home. Then she called the 1st wave to stand–and the most incredible thing occurred. The majority of the synagogue rose. And Rabbi Shira started to cry, and Sasha and I were crying (and honestly, we are not criers), and it was such an unbelievable thing to look around and see so many damn people standing up as allies that I cried my way through the entire Mourner’s Kaddish (see the video below) and maybe got every 6th word out. You won’t necessarily read about that aspect of the service, but you will hear a bit about the evening in this article, that also captured services from other congregations around the country in the wake of the shooting. Because that’s the thing about people and difficult times and darkness and all the bad shit we are forced to face–we are resilient and we go on.

I read a few other things since last we spoke:

May his memory be a blessing

Spanking: still not good

So jealous those of you in FL who get to vote for this guy

The problem with sex-ed in the US

Why online hate is so dangerous


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