*Click on “My Meeting with Lana Parrilla” to view the video.
You may not know my story, you may have just followed this blog because you love Lana. That’s awesome. Before you watch this video, let me share with you my story. On Christmas Day this past year I was in a serious car accident, I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt and my head hit the windshield and I was severely injured. Suddenly I couldn’t work, or walk, or do anything for weeks. I am a nurse, so this was very hard for me and I immediately became severely depressed. The night of my accident I prayed for God to just let me die. My family sensed my deep sorrow, and so my sister suggested while I was laid up in bed that I binge watch a show called “Once Upon a Time”. I took her advice, one episode I saw featured the Evil Queen venturing into the kingdom in disguise as a peasant girl named Wilma, she sets out to find out why the peasants hate her. She is subsequently injured and Snow White ends up saving her life. During that scene, Snow says to the Queen that there is an undeniable selfless connection between people, even strangers, and that as long as we lead with goodness in our heart we can always have a second chance. When I saw this scene, it lit a fire inside of me and I knew I had to dust myself off and get back to my life. One month later, I received a job offer to work in hospice, and the first patient I ever had assigned to me, was named Wilma. I am a believer in signs, and this was a sign to me, that I was exactly where I was meant to be.
I am a pretty young nurse, and so working with people who are going to die was very scary for me. For the first few weeks I cried all the way to work, and all the way home. I realized one night while driving home that I had to find a way to connect with people, I thought back to what made me feel better and it was having an escape like Once Upon a Time. I began bringing my iPad to nurses’ visits, while I was checking medications, or doing wound care, or starting an IV I would have my patients watch an episode to distract them. Every.Single.Time they loved it. Until pretty soon, every patient I had became a ONCER. Of course, they always loved Lana Parrilla and her sass as the Queen. Over the past 6 months I have cared for and comforted nearly 100 people in their last weeks of life, and Lana’s performances and Once Upon a Time have allowed me to share so much joy with them. But most importantly it’s allowed me to help them forget, if even for an hour, that they are dying. It’s allowed me to hear them laugh, or swoon, or feel excitement. They have died with joy and peace in their heart because of that levity.
And so I traveled 1800 miles this past weekend to tell Lana this myself. This video is a portion of our conversation, the beginning I have kept private because i mention some private patient details. But you will see an interaction that my patients and I have dreamed about for months.
My patients and I picked out a few very special gifts for Lana, jewelry with genuine turquoise stones, because turquoise is the stone of the healer, and of feminine power.
The rings that she puts on in the video were made by a patient who died a week before my trip. She was a huge fan but lost her fight.
I hope what Lana has done for me and those under my care comes through when you watch this, it’s a moment I won’t ever forget.