Tami Reeves, RN, is a pediatric and trauma nurse, and author of Bleeding Hearts: A True Story of Alzheimer’s Family, and the Other Woman, (Second Edition). As a CODA (child of deaf adults), she has been a caregiver all her life—responsible for her siblings and parents at a very young age. When she met her husband Eric, she played a crucial role in his healing process, helping to care for his wife with Alzheimer’s. She is working to establish the Gaye L. Reeves Foundation in her memory to help families of Alzheimer’s victims, providing support and raising awareness for the suffering that loved ones of patients endure. Tami lives with her husband Eric in Germany.
What do I do best?
I connect with people. People like and trust me almost instantly. I especially can gain the trust of a child quite quickly. I, being a pediatric nurse, have drawn blood and started IV’s on children without fuss because I talk to them and they trust me. Because people feel they can trust me, I’ve had complete strangers tell me their life story while standing in line at grocery stores. I am a good listener but people like to hear me talk as well. That’s another one of my attributes, I am a story teller.
What makes me the best version of myself?
Being fearless. I was once very fearful and afraid to go after the things I knew I wanted. But once I realized that it was fear which was holding me back, I decided to make my move. It took courage -courage I never knew I had. I’ve never looked back. I have my unending faith in my courage and the one who gave it to me.
What are my aspirations?
To teach people that judgement doesn’t belong in the realm of being a human being. That at all times, we should be lifting up, loving and supporting one another – especially in the face of adversity. When another human being is going through a hard time, i.e. death, illness, loss, etc., we need to recognize that the decisions one makes may not be how we might handle a situation. But we support and love them regardless. I hope to begin this discussion with the publication of my book “Bleeding Hearts”.
My Biggest Success?
Figuring out who I am. I think a lot of people go through their life never knowing who they are. It wasn’t easy and I am still learning. I was told, earlier in my life, who I was. It was pounded into me over and over. It took time, distance and perseverance for truth to realize that the person others thought, or wanted, me to be was not who I was at all. I’m far from perfect, but I like who I am.
My Most Challenging Moment?
Separating myself from my previous life. I was born to deaf parents and like many families, ours was dysfunctional. Then I married my first love at a very young age and the dysfunction continued. Separating from that life was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But it was the best thing I’ve ever done. I was able to find the “real me” and I have never looked back. I was however, recently reminded of the person I used to be. It wasn’t pretty and I do not like the former me, at all. Apparently when you are around people who have never moved away from dysfunction, it’s easy to get wrapped up in it again. So the challenge continues – keeping myself from being that person ever again.
“Everyone’s journey is their own”, a quote from my book. No one has the right to judge anyone…and I’m not talking religion here. In this day and time when everyone thinks his way is best, we all need to realize, we all have our own journey to travel and we have to do it the best way we can for ourselves. I can elaborate on different scenarios where this applies. It doesn’t just apply to my story in “Bleeding Hearts”. Human beings are losing empathy and it’s both sad and frightening. If empathy is lost –what will we become?
My Favorite People/Role Models?
Honestly, my nurse friends are some of my favorite people. Being a pediatric nurse takes a special kind of person – and I love those people. We take care of children, how can we not be caring and loving human beings?
As for outside the medical arena, I’d have to say people who take a cause they believe in, to the next level. People who come to mind are celebrities like Oprah, Paul Newman, Mike Rowe, the list goes on and on. And people who are not so famous…the everyday people who put the needs of others above their own, just to make this world a better place. My admiration for people who move in their life, just to bring joy or a better life to others, swells my heart.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
As for destinations, I love the beach and the mountains equally. But as for places; living in Germany for the last four and a half years we have had the good fortune to be able to travel all over Europe. I love each and every culture we have had the privilege to visit. Germany (of course), Spain, Ireland, Poland, the Czech Republic, England, Portugal, France, Canary Islands…they are all so beautifully unique. But I have to say, Italy, has been my favorite by far. The people, the history, the beauty and the food cannot be compared to anywhere else I’ve visited. If I could get my family to move to Italy – I’d live there indefinitely!
My Favorite Products/Objects?
This is a tough one. The only thing I can think of is my Breville Espresso machine and my Roomba vacuum cleaner! LOL I should probably add my immersion blender. I love to cook so I use it a lot.
I also enjoy beautiful serving dishes. Serving food I cooked in beautiful dishes makes me a very happy girl.
OH! And bling…I love bling!
My Current Passions?
My children and grandchildren. I love spending time with them. Living so far away, I cherish each second I get with them all.
I am also passionate about holding people accountable for their actions. I am not a strong or loud voice, but if I witness terrible treatment by one human being to another – I will defend, advocate or fight for that person with every ounce of my being.