3: Confession of a Nurse

3: Confession of a Nurse

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Nurses

Confession of a Nurse

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.

~Dr. Seuss

A heavy snowfall covered the ground of the nursing home as I pulled into the parking lot. On Saturday mornings the facility was quieter, without all the office personnel and sales representatives. I enjoyed weekends and looked forward to working as the charge nurse on the men’s wing. My Big Boys, as I called them, were always trying to pull pranks on me.

The Big Boys sat in the men’s lounge with the television blaring. I loved the stories these retired farmers and men of various occupations told. There were doctors and businessmen alike enjoying the questions I asked them about their youths. My question this day was, “Did you like to play in the snow when you were young?”

All of them had a story to tell about the snowmen they built or the games they played in the snow. They told stories about building forts and having snowball fights. They told stories of their cars stuck in the snow and demonstrated the depth of the snow with their aging hands.

“I haven’t felt snow in many years,” said Stanley from his wheelchair. The men gazed longingly out the large picture window. One of them remarked. “With the sun on the snow like that, it makes good snow packing.”

“Snow won’t last long,” said another.

I saw the little boys inside these elderly men. I wondered… could I… dared I? Why not? I might get scolded and reprimanded, but I would not get fired.

I gathered up some huge containers from the kitchen and an empty clean garbage can. I told my nurse techs what I was about to do and asked them to get me a mop. I went out the back door and filled all the containers with snow. I took the first container of snow inside to Stanley. “Do you remember making a snowball?”

Stanley smiled, reached, took a handful of the snow and began forming a ball.

“Who would you like to throw it at?” I asked.

“Tom!” Stanley shouted as he tossed the ball at the man near the door. Then all the men got into the action. Workers passed snow to everyone and we all became victims.

“Better duck!” one man warned.

Catch this one!” another challenged.

Raucous laughter echoed throughout the men’s wing.

The fights lasted until the snow was melted and the tile floor looked like a water line had broken. The slightly damp men sat grinning as we mopped up the water and handed out towels and warm blankets. Their smiles and energy radiated throughout the day.

I knew when some of them told their families they had thrown snowballs and played with snow, the relatives would laugh and think, “He’s confused today.”

No, on the contrary, he’s alive and witty and well.

~Beverly LaHote Schwind

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