You remind me of a girl

You never know what you're going to find when you walk into a patients room. Sometimes they're nice, sometimes they're not. Sometimes they're butt naked, sometimes there's a ton of people in there...and sometimes they move you. One of my favorite things about nursing is that I get to share in the lives of so many people... I become part of their story. Part of their "dash"... you know, the dash between the years of their birth and death. In every cemetery there are countless stories in those dashes.

Sometimes God takes opportunities to remind me of all of this in order to pull me back to myself... or back to him rather. Last night he did just that. I can get so stressed and caught up in my own stuff that I lose perspective.

I was running really behind last night. 7-11 p.m. is the busiest time of my shift and I had nine patients. I had one more person to assess and was trying to just get it over with so I could get onto other things I had to do. I purposely saved him for last because he was going to have surgery to have a pacemaker put in today and I knew I would have the most work to do with him. As I entered his room I was all about business. Get 'er done! lol So I walk in and introduce myself and as I'm checking things off of my to-do list I notice that he is white as his sheet and he's just staring at me with his mouth open. Finally I take my stethoscope out of my ears and ask him if he's okay. He stammers for a second and then he says, "It's just that you remind me of a girl....." At first honestly I was thinking "that's nice pumpkin but I've got work to do, I don't have time for this." But then I noticed there were tears in his eyes and he was still staring at me. So I decided to take a moment and talk to him. I looked at him and smiled and said

oh yeah? How so?

And as I smiled he gasped and said....Oh my God! Your smile!

are you okay?

Yes, it's just that......your smile, your beautiful teeth and your beautiful dark hair....and your eyes....and your fair skin.....

Wow...if you're looking to win me over it's working sweetie! You get extra snacks tonight. (and I winked at him)

No, really....I can't believe how much you look like her. Would you be offended if I touched your hair?

No... I suppose not. (as he reaches up and touches my hair his lips start to quiver)

It's uncanny. (and he takes my hand and kisses it) I'm sorry, it's just that....I loved her and I never saw her again. It was World War II and I was in Germany. Oh how I loved her...she should've been my wife. I knew instantly that she was the one but i fought it. I was a young man in the military after all. I had plans.

So you were trouble then? lol

Yeah, you could say that...but I didn't think so at the time. The sad part is that just as I decided to stop playing games I was injured. My men were under fire and I protected them all by getting them out of the way and I had to stand in icy water and fire on the enemy to save them. No one got hurt but me....I got frostbite so bad I still have constant wounds from it (as he showed me his bandaged legs). They shipped me home wounded and I never saw her again. She never had any idea that I had decided to ask her to marry me. I left her with her heart broken and was never able to find her again..... and you look just like her.

Wow. He brought a tear to my eyes.....and a renewed softness to my heart. I was reminded of what I was really there for. Nursing has become so much about the tasks and the paperwork because of lawsuits and bureaucracy. But really nursing is about the soul and heart of the person. Doctoring is about the science, nursing is about the spirit.

My cup was filled. He was a gift to me. A simple little conversation that changed me... brought my spirit back to where it should be. We were now part of each others stories. I smiled softly at him and then kissed his hand.

As I look back on my short 33 years of life I already see so many faces and so many stories. Like the ocean waves my love has fallen differently on every shore... but it has all been love none-the-less. Thank you all for being part of my dash.