Years ago as a nurse I cared for an elderly lady at the end of her life. I got to know her and her husband of 60 years. He had gone home and she became more unwell.
While waiting for him to return I sat and talked quietly with her, held her hand, then she just gently slipped away.
I waited with her to let him know she wasn’t alone and she had not been scared.
For a long time afterward, he used to come and see me and say hello.
Years later as a midwife, I received a card from a mother with a letter and a photo from a first birthday.
It said my care during her son’s birth had a profound effect on her. I helped her believe that she could not only birth her baby but that she could be a good mother.
I received a card and photo every year until her little boy went to school.
The amazing part of this story is I didn’t remember the birth, not even after I saw the photo and her name. I also don’t remember the elderly lady’s name, but I do value that I was able to make such a difference that they remembered me.
This is at the heart of all we do as nurses and midwives.
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