Six years ago, my mother was very ill and in the hospital. I flew into town several times over the course of six months to be with her, my father, and my siblings. Each visit was incredibly difficult as my mother was not always in the best of spirits due to her condition.
It was so hard to see my once vibrant and silly mother in pain and not her usual self.
But then, there was this nurse—Bridget. When Bridget entered the room, my mother’s eyes would light up and the conversation would come back.
This woman was amazing. When she was around, it was as if my mother would forget that she was in a hospital. She would suddenly become chipper, joking about getting a mocha frappuccino from Starbucks.
Bridget did more than the already difficult task of caring for my mother physically. She lifted her spirits and revived her will to live.
Not only did Bridget help my mother, she brought warmth and laughter to myself, my siblings, and my father. We started talking about Bridget all the time. On our way to the hospital each day, the conversation would start with, “I wonder if Bridget will be working today.”
For those six months, Bridget became part of the family. She was the rope we all held on to.
Unfortunately my mother did not make it. I was devastated. My mother meant the world to me, and now, I couldn’t even pick up the phone to talk to her.
I would also no longer be coming to the hospital every day—which meant no more Bridget.
I got Bridget’s address and sent her a letter or two, but I knew that over the years, it would be harder to stay in touch. I started to think of everything that Bridget meant to me—her compassion, her upbeat personality, her sense of humor, and all the soothing ways that she let me know that, somehow, it would just be all right.
Her name, even, was so fitting: “Bridge It.” I tried to be positive and remember all that I learned from her. I thought to myself in difficult situations, “What would Bridget do?”
Finding my own Bridget
This past year was an emotional rollercoaster for me. About a month after my mother passed away, I myself went in the hospital for several months. I was pregnant with twins.
I couldn’t believe this was happening and I was scared to sleep in the hospital.
The first few days were the hardest, not knowing what to expect, and not being able to leave my confining room. I wasn’t sure if I had the mental toughness to get through this period. Being in the hospital reminded me of my mother’s situation, which didn’t have a good outcome.
Then I met nurse Stephanie!
Suddenly, I felt the same comfort that I had felt during my mother’s hospital stay. Things felt like they might actually work out.
I called my sister right away and told her, “I think I found my Bridget!”
My sister just chuckled. She knew exactly what I meant.
These nurses are important. They are special people that we just don’t meet everyday. When we do meet them, it is usually in the most unpleasant of situations, and these nurses have magic powers that flip the script into a most positive, loving, and calming scenario.
To all the Bridgets out there—thank you.