Sunday, September 02, 2007

Congratulations to Leonie!

Leonie finished a horrendous round of training to prove what we already knew--that she's a damn fine nurse.

Everybody has a story tell. As I writer, I know this from deep down, which is probably why I've kept up with this blog. One thing is writing down my thoughts, another thing is shutting up long enough to listen to somebody else's story.

Leonie may be able to dress wounds, draw blood, and all the other gross medical things that she does, but her real gift, the one that saves lives at a higher level is her compassion and empathy for the people under her care.

I may tell stories, but she listens to them. All day. Every day. And even though some of those people move on and may even be unaware of her ministrations, she keeps those stories alive. I know because she shared one with me.

She told me the story of an old man, sick and ailing in her ward, who got it in his head to recite poetry to her. What a funny thing, huh? Well, not so funny. Moving actually. You see, as Leonie would tend to him he recited a particular poem, in pieces. I think the recitation of the poem kept him alive, or rather, the fact that Leonie listened to it, and as proof that his word was heard, she passed on the story to me. You see, the poem is a kind of eulogy. Perhaps she was the only one who heard it. It haunted her, and after discovering that I was a literature teacher, recited part of what she remembered.

There are ironies in life that one can't explain, and while I would never suggest that John Greenleaf Whittier is an obscure poet, I can certainly attest to the fact that Barefoot Boy is probably not one of his best known works. It turns out that it is one of my husband's favorite poems, recited to him by his grandfather. I recognized it immediately.

I don't suppose that means very much to any of us, consumed with living our own lives, but it meant something to the old man, and Leonie's healing compassion to listen to him. Somehow, through her, he lives on a little bit in this story.

Congratulations, Leonie! We need more nurses like you.


critter said...

touching...congrats to leonie! :)

Anonymous said...

Blessings on thee "no so little" nurse.

Goldiefish said...

Way to go Leonie!

leonie said...

thanks all, now Im gloating