Made My Day
By Cecilia Garrabrant, RN
The sun was almost setting when I drove home from work. I was tired like most days, but even more so on this particular day – mostly because I had just received some bad news.
Despite being preoccupied, I decided to go to the grocery store to get milk and fruit anyway. As I got in line to pay for my groceries, I heard someone call my name. When I turned to look, two young ladies I did not recognize approached me.
“Sorry, but you work as a surgical nurse at the James Cancer Hospital, don’t you?” one of them said.
“How did you know?” I asked.
“We wanted to thank you,” she said. “You were our mom’s nurse when she had surgery last Monday. You told her that you had the same diagnosis as hers, had the same surgery that she was about to have, and you were doing fine. You even told her that you lost your hair to chemotherapy and were starting to grow it back a little — just like Mom. You said you would pray for her while she was your patient, as you always do for all your patients.”
“You made her smile!” they said in unison.
“Mom was always fun to be with until her cancer, and then she never smiled again until you talked with her, so thank you,” one daughter said.
I asked how she was doing, and they shared that their mom was still in the hospital but was allowed to eat ice cream. They were just about to buy it for her.
“Say hello for me,” I said.
“Can we please give you a thank-you hug?” they asked. I got the best double hug that day.
When I left the grocery store, I had a smile on my face. I was walking on cloud nine, even though I had just learned that I had metastasis in my liver and needed to undergo a new regimen of chemotherapy.
Accidentally meeting those two young ladies made my day brighter. I believed it was a sign that my future would be bright as well.
*Ten years later and after several procedures and rounds of chemo and radiation therapies, Garrabrant is doing well. She continues to be monitored by her healthcare team and is enjoying retirement with her husband.
Cecilia Garrabrant, RN (retired), worked as a certified operating room nurse.