Sunday, September 18, 2016

To the Nurse Who Brought the Lamp

Dear Nurse who brought the lamp,

You have no idea what you did. You simply could not understand the depth of comfort you gave to me that night. The night you helped my husband and I set up an extra bed and you dropped off blankets and pillows for us. You spoke softly to us as it was night time and things were settling down on that floor of the children's hospital we had grown to call our second home for a summer. It was our fourth child, but our first daughter who would endure her third surgery during that stay. It was our fifteen week old, yet only seven pound and some odd ounce child who we rushed back to hospital for a suddenly dreaded and unexpected surgery. You were efficient, professional, kind-hearted and I'm guessing at least a few years younger than we were. But, when I reflect on that night as you cared for us and I mean all of us, I am fully immersed in the feeling of a mother setting up a comfortable bed and reassuring me that it would all be made right. The lights overhead were so bright, awakening and institutional. Then you brought in the lamp. You shut those harsh lights off and you plugged in that lamp and made a comment about how this might make the room more comfortable. I don't even know where you got it from, but it was a gesture and a deed that proved to be substantial. When I look at the pictures of that dimly-lit and cozy looking room, your gentle, motherly, abundant consolation abides in my heart.  At that stage, I was exhausted from months of caring for a sick child and balancing everything else in life (not so well.) I was traumatized from several life-threatening instances with my daughter and worrying about my other children. Blood tests; the awful, but needed replogle; hematologist; her [beloved] surgeons with news and reviews; gastroenterologists checking in for rounds; well-meaning residents who would tell us anything and everything that could be wrong with our daughter; surgery; blood tranfusion; medicines; the hundredth I.V. that would most likely blow in her teeny veins. Too many things that I can't really recall in which order they occurred, but when spoken of, well, it's somewhat mind-boggling. All wonderful and necessary medical advances of which I am so grateful, yet remind me of a lot of that very painful and somewhat chaotic time. But, then the lamp. And, that lamp reminds me that in the darkest of times, there was comfort provided. To the nurse who brought the lamp, thank you will never be worthy. But, no doubt, you will continue to bring it to others who need it.