Life is filled with tragedy. I am never more acutely aware of this than when I am working in a trauma center. I see it everywhere. I become more aware of the drivers around me on the road, the girl at the sporting goods store with the 9mm pistol tucked carelessly in the waistband of her jeans, the cars with little kids hopping around in the backseat unrestrained, hikers with no water bottles. It’s like flying. Ever notice when you are about to take a plane, a plane crash gets put on the news?

My sense of trauma becomes more heightened. At work, they come. The MVAs, the car vs pedestrian, the car vs cyclist, the gunshot wounds, the stabbings, the beatings. Wave after wave, like the ocean. They just keep coming.

There’s a fine line I walk between being too emotional and having nerves of steel. With each passing year, I worry I will become so hard hearted I will feel nothing at all for anyone’s pain. But, I need nerves of steel to function. Your life depends on it!

This is day 21 of 31 days of five minute free writes. Be sure to head over to Kate’s blog to participate or read along or both.