I've seen so many faces in the last few months - learned so many names...
Some people breeze in and out of your life with such quickness that they simply go unnoticed. They're as fleeting as these autumn breezes that whisper through the leaves. The memory of them evaporates quickly without even leaving a trace. And if you ever see them again, there's a connected familiarity to their face, but one so vague that you can never quite seem to put your finger on it.
Then, there are other events that drop people in your path with such a force that it rocks your very foundation. These moments are not foreseeable nor are they ever forgotten. They're more like the wintry winds that blast down out of Canada, ripping the last of the autumn leaves from the branches of their trees. These people have forever left a mark on your hearts and in your life - that may diminish some with time - but will always be somewhere near the surface of remembering.
The events that take place change your life in such a way that whenever triggered by a similar event, that person's face comes bleeding back through your mind - almost instantaneously. And suddenly, you're back there - in that moment where the compass lines of both of your directions crossed so forcefully.
You remember the room - where there was only one light in the darkness, however enough to see an aged faced, wrinkled up in pain. You remember the smells because you're so close that even their breath has found its way into the recesses of your mind. You remember their frustration and exhaustion toward not being able to control their own body in the simplest ways any more. And you will never forget the look in their eyes when they tell you thank you for being there. Even when YOU feel like you're not even coming close in doing for them the way those tired eyes so desperately show you gratitude.
These people have families that trust my hands to take care of their loved ones. You cannot control everything from the start of a 12 hour shift to the finish of it. You can do your best to map out a path of which way you think you want to go for the night, but ultimately, there will be people and events that get shifted into your direction, forever changing that planned path and teaching you more than you ever thought possible. And one day, if by chance you ever see them again, there will be immediate recognition, flinging you back through time, flooding your brain all over again, never letting you forget.
There are some that have already slipped so quietly from my mind, and there are those I will never forget.