Happy Friday, readers!
Each week I share book excerpts with:
- Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current book, as well as any first impressions or initial thoughts they might have.
- The Friday 56 hosted by Freda’s Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences, and post them.
This week my excerpts will be from my current read, The Language of Kindness: A Nurse’s Story by Christie Watson. I actually found two quotes for my Friday 56 and couldn’t choose between them, so I included both.
A moving, lyrical, beautifully-written portrait of a nurse and the lives she has touched
Christie Watson spent twenty years as a nurse, and in this intimate, poignant, and remarkably powerful book, she opens the doors of the hospital and shares its secrets. She takes us by her side down hospital corridors to visit the wards and meet her most unforgettable patients.
In the neonatal unit, premature babies fight for their lives, hovering at the very edge of survival, like tiny Emmanuel, wrapped up in a sandwich bag. On the cancer wards, the nurses administer chemotherapy and, long after the medicine stops working, something more important–which Watson learns to recognize when her own father is dying of cancer. In the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, the nurses wash the hair of a little girl to remove the smell of smoke from the house fire. The emergency room is overcrowded as ever, with waves of alcohol and drug addicted patients as well as patients like Betty, a widow suffering chest pain, frail and alone. And the stories of the geriatric ward–Gladys and older patients like her–show the plight of the most vulnerable members of our society.
Through the smallest of actions, nursing provides vital care and kindness. All of us will experience illness in our lifetime, and we will all depend on the support and dignity that nurses offer us; yet the women and men who form the vanguard of our health care remain unsung. In this age of fear, hate, and division, Christie Watson has written a book that reminds us of all that we share, and of the urgency of compassion.
I didn’t always want to be a nurse. I went through a number of career possibilities and continually exasperated the career advisor at my failing secondary school.
The Friday 56:
I nod. “Thank you.” But I have no clue what I’m meant to do. What is my role here as a nurse? Do I simply sit with the patients, or try and talk to them, or watch them.
I like the idea that I can help provide meaning to another person’s life, and during the same process search for meaning in my own. But I have no idea how to go about it.
What are you reading this weekend? Feel free to join in with lines from your current read!