Several local Sunday small groups made signs for us nurses, signs saying we are brave and strong and heroes, and when we came to work Monday morning they were hanging all over the walls to welcome us when we arrived.
I’ve never thought of myself as a hero.
Just a nurse.
When I think about heroes I think of Band of Brothers or 911 first responders, Frodo or Batman, or Ryan White or Ruby Bridges.
But I will say
all my best friends who are
nurses are heroes to me.
The ones who pick up shifts even when they’re
the managers who encourage anxiety-ridden staff and build their teams even
stronger in the midst
of chaos. The ones who are in the ERs and ICUs who wear
body fluids like regular old daily accessories
nothing of it. Even now.
They are the heroes. Always
have been. Always
I guess I am one of them too. Twenty-seven years under my belt. But the title still seems
reserved for them, my comrades,
my beloved friends
in the trenches
With each other.
So bring on the signs and hero-calling and late night mask-sewing-sessions. None of us
at taking compliments. But I can tell you
your encouragement matters.
The battle is unforgiving, unrelenting, unimaginable, and unreal.
Back to work today, work I adore, work I feel—have always felt—privileged to do. I felt stretched again between the urgency of the pandemic and the real time ache of patients needing pain control, assurance, direction, and kindness. The hierarchy of needs.
One foot in front of the other.
Me. Them. Us.
Outside the grass is green. Suddenly, as if the earth sensed the great ache of all of us, begging to see life and new and growing things in the midst of all this madness, the grass is emerald green.
Glorified and sanctified be God’s great name throughout the world which He has created according to His will,