Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Write something AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL (10/02/14)
- TITLE: Double-Duty
By Dannie Hawley
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
Steps away from the nurses’ station, I heard my older colleagues complaining.
“Send Gerke over there.” I recognized the gruff voice of the older aide. “She’s younger than any of us; she’d probably love caring for those football players.”
The burst of laughter from the little group stopped abruptly as I entered. My head nurse looked up from her clipboard. “Welcome, Mrs. Gerke. Someone has to go to Orthopedics tonight. You’re it. You can stay in your maternity scrubs and leave your stuff in your locker.”
“O-ka-a-ay.” Waving to the ladies two decades my senior, I reverse direction before even taking a seat in their circle.
I worked hard all evening, and while I didn’t much like the hassle trying to locate supplies on this unfamiliar ward, I did enjoy working with the post-op patients. I helped care for athletes, former-athletes, and one elderly lady living through her final days.
“Mrs. Peterson. Did you need something more?” I said, reaching to release her call button. I had just left her room a minute earlier.
“Oh dear, I’m just so frightened. Can’t you stay with me? Sit down.”
Now, I had the real reason Mrs. Peterson’s call-light flickered on throughout the entire evening. I’d already done about every task an anxious patient could request. Mrs. Peterson really needed release from her fear of dying.
I pulled the straight-back chair over to her bedside and sat down. Her frail hand trembled in mine. “Mrs. Peterson, I’m not really allowed to sit and speak with the patients while I’m on duty. If you are still awake when my shift ends in forty-five minutes, I’ll punch-out and come back to visit. Would that be okay?”
Tears filled the elderly woman’s eyes. She squeezed my hand. “Oh, yes, dear; I don’t want to get you in any trouble. I’ll be awake. Come back.”
Later, tip-toeing over to her door, I peeked in to see if Mrs. Peterson had fallen asleep after her pain medication. “Come in, dear. Come in. I’m not asleep.”
“Okay, Mrs. Peterson,” I said, moving to her bedside. “I’ll be back; I need to go downstairs to punch-out. I just wanted to be sure you still wanted me to visit.”
I bolted down the stairs to the time-clock, officially ending my shift. I prayed all the way back up to the Orthopedics Ward. I didn’t have words that would bring the troubled soul peace, but I knew the One who did. I’d trust God to lead me.
The chair had already been moved to her bedside. I raised the head of the bed so that our eyes would be on the same level. The sweet woman’s face, once so beautiful, now bore the drawn, skeletal look of the dying. Taking her hand, I said, “Mrs. Peterson, I’d like to tell you about something that happened to me last year when I was studying in Colorado. I met God, alone in my living room. Would you like to hear what happened?” She nodded; her hand trembled as mine gently squeezed.
Though close to Midnight when I finished my story, Mrs. Peterson’s attention never wavered; longing and tears filled her eyes.
“Jesus loves you so much. He wants you to have His peace. Just as He gave it to me that night,
He is offering it to you right now.”
“Oh, do you think so? Can that happen to me, too?” Her sobs increased. I handed her the little box of Kleenex.
“Would it be helpful for you to repeat a prayer after me?”
In one fluid movement, Mrs. Peterson dropped the Kleenex box, grabbed both my hands, and bowed her head.
What a privilege it was to lead Mrs. Peterson through the simple prayer that joined her heart to her Savior’s. She readily surrendered her life to Jesus right there and then.
Finally, we both blew our noses and laughed together, with the joy of the Lord. I promised to return the next day. Mrs. Peterson’s countenance was so peaceful, her face simply radiant.
During my break the following evening, I returned to Orthopedics, rejoicing. I started for my new friend’s room, but the Head Nurse’s words gripped me. “I’m sorry; she died thirty minutes after you left last night.”
My first-ever re-assignment proved to be God’s appointment for Mrs. Peterson. I’d next see her where suffering doesn’t exist. Glory!
Author’s Note: This is a true story, though the patient’s name has been changed.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.