92: You Were My Arms

92: You Were My Arms

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Nurses

You Were My Arms

Gratitude is the memory of the heart.

~Italian Proverb

It was a heartbreaking call. Our grandson, David, was in the hospital, his cancer advanced. He needed an emergency procedure.

“Oh, Mom.” My daughter was nearly weeping.

I’d already been weeping for her all day. I had to remain strong. I’d been at the computer, finding emergency flights for David’s siblings, plus transportation to airports and the distant hospital. Finally the last ticket was for our pastor, who was also our son-in-law’s long-time friend. He could embrace Frank, give him a shoulder to cry on. He would get there in time. But who would be there for my Cheri?

My heart was breaking. It was not just a saying, I could feel it. What mother does not want to be with her daughter at a time like this to hold her? To comfort her. But I could not be there. I was thousands of miles away.

The call disconnected before I could offer love or prayers. Only tears. I waited and prayed into the silent night.

The phone rang again. “Oh, Mom, something went wrong.” Then silence. Disconnected again.

“Oh, God. Please send someone to be my arms for my child.”

And you were there. You held her. You wept with her and prayed with her. You told her what you saw, and what she needed to hear, that others were watching and saw the faith and the peace amid the pain.

You were my prayer. My arms. My tears.

Thank you for being where I could not be. Thank you for explaining all the machines and the processes, and for easing my daughter and son-in-law’s impossible task of letting their son go to God as gently as possible.

Thank you for doing more than your job that night… for being an intercessor, a constant source of comfort. For holding her for me, letting your heart break with hers, yet being an accepting, believing, encouraging rock. Your compassion comforted a mom and her daughter at the same time across the country. You were God’s conduit.

You say you are “just a nurse.” But you raised the definition of nurse to a new level that night. You suffered with… acted in place of… substituted for her mom with full efficiency and tender compassion. You helped to get the phone so I could talk to my grandson and my daughter. I’ve never thanked you for all those things. But how could I?

I don’t even know your full name. God and his angels do, and for you that was enough. Your willingness to step into the breach was truly a Godsend. The hours you spent beyond your shift, a treasure. You have glorified the calling.

So thank you, nurse.

Thank you for being this mother’s heart.

Thank you for being my arms.

~Delores Christian Liesner

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