OR ME, BECOMING A NURSE was not a choice,
but a God-given mission and repayment of an old debt.
I was 21 years old and expecting a baby when my young husband became
ill. He was diagnosed with cancer four months before our daughter
was born. I spent much of that year in a large hospital, far from
family. At one point, my newborn daughter was sent to stay with
my family in Arkansas, some 300 miles away, so that I could remain
by her father’s bedside.
Through all my husband’s tests, diagnosis, treatments, surgery,
a car accident, the birth of my daughter, a hurricane and, eventually,
Ronny’s untimely death, one group of people was my lifeline…the
nurses who cared for us. They tended to my husband tirelessly, answered
my questions (and admitted when they did not know the answer), brought
me pillows, made sure I ate properly, allowed us to visit with our
daughter by “bending” the rules, encouraged me in the
middle of long, lonely nights and, finally, sat with me until my
family arrived after my husband’s death.
When I was faced with having to earn a living and raise my daughter
alone, I knew what I had to do. For almost 20 years now, each time
I hold a newborn, comfort a crying child or their family, explain
a treatment or procedure, or hold the hand of someone who is dying,
I’m reminded of those who did the same thing for me. I try
to remember always that the smallest act of kindness can make a
difference in a life. So what it means to me to be a nurse is to
have the chance every day to touch someone’s life for just
a moment…or forever.
Mitzi Ammons, RN