50: A Nurse’s Christmas Prayer

50: A Nurse’s Christmas Prayer

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Nurses

A Nurse’s Christmas Prayer

Prayer is aligning ourselves with the purposes of God.

~E. Stanley Jones

On an early December morning in my home in Australia, I was startled awake by the phone ringing at my bedside. On the screen I saw the name of the nursing home where my father resided with Alzheimer’s disease. I jerked upright and my heart pounded. I knew something was wrong. A voice gently but professionally said, “I’m so sorry. Your father had a massive stroke about ten minutes ago. He’s had three seizures and is unconscious.” She advised me to contact my mum and the family to go there as soon as possible.

We met at the nursing home with hugs and tears. We were grateful Dad was still alive, even if just long enough for us to say goodbye.

His doctor phoned us and said, “I have instructed the sister to give your father morphine to keep him comfortable. There is nothing else to do.”

I asked, “So he can’t make it back from this? Are you saying just keep him medicated until he passes away?”

The doctor replied, “Yes.”

The kind nursing staff brought in extra chairs for us, plus trays of tea, coffee, sandwiches and biscuits, even drinks for the children. The compassion on the nurses’ faces and in their actions were truly beautiful and so inspiring, showing us how much they loved my father.

Our family took turns talking to, hugging, and kissing Dad, even though he was not conscious. We believed he heard us deep in his spirit.

Michelle, the nurse Dad loved most, came rushing in, dressed in casual jeans and top, with tears streaming down her face. Unbeknownst to us, a staff member had contacted her on her day off, knowing how close she was to Dad. He lit up every time she came in. She had such a compassionate heart and did special things for him, even cutting his hair. She could get him to sit in a chair when no one else could.

Now we hugged and cried together. She tenderly hugged and kissed Dad and spent time talking with us and discussing his grave condition. I was comforted knowing she’d be back on duty the next morning.

Later that night, Dad grew very restless. His legs moved in spasms, as if he wanted to get up and go.

The next morning the nursing staff were astounded to see Dad awake. Michelle was right there giving him porridge for breakfast. Later that morning, she had Dad sitting in a chair. Then she got him to his feet to walk a while, which he couldn’t do prior to the stroke! Mum arrived and couldn’t believe her eyes. She spent the whole day with her beloved husband, holding hands, laughing and kissing.

Days later Michelle confided to me, “I did a bad thing.” She added with a twinkle in her eyes. “I prayed and asked God not to take your dad before Christmas. And He didn’t!”

I could see by her expression that she was wondering if it was wrong to pray to keep him there in such a hopeless condition.

I smiled and hugged her. Then I assured her. “We prayed the very same thing. God heard our prayers.”

~Sandra L. Hickman

More stories from our partners