The Season of Lights




photo by: JParadisi 2009
          The other day I wondered if my blog posts are depressing this time of year when people are celebrating the holidays. Who wants to hear about medication errors and cancer when there are family gatherings and parties to attend? My concern was validated when I read oncology nurse Teresa Brown’s blog. She told a story about shaving the head of a cancer patient losing her hair from chemotherapy. In response, one commenter posted that she will no longer read Teresa’s blog because it’s too depressing.    
     Yep, that’s what I was afraid of.        

     While I understand reading about hospitalized people can feel sad, to stop there is missing the point. I believe nurses write stories about encounters with their patients because of the universal truths of humanity they relate. Whether poignant or humorous, the stories shine a light on the characteristics that connect us all as part of the human race.       

      This is the season of lights.       

     Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, walked the hallways of an army hospital during the Crimean war, shining the light of her lamp on wounded soldiers while making her rounds. To her patients, she was known as The Lady with the Lamp.       

     Nurses, at our best, bring light to patients, by listening to their stories while delivering expert care. Treatment, especially cancer treatment, can feel like a season of darkness one must travel through to find the light at the end. Some patients will never leave the dark season of a chronic illness, and for them, nurses are there to hold the small lamps of hope needed to guide them along their journey.       

     This is the season of lights. During the darkest time of year, our society strings lights from our homes and businesses. We string lights around the trees outdoors, and those we bring into our homes. We light the Menorah during the Festival of Lights. We light our way through the season of darkness, and remind ourselves that nature’s light will return.       

     Nurses tell the stories that guide us through long shifts with fearful patients. The stories bring us back for the next shift and the next, until a string of these stories lights our careers, and our lives, until each of one of us finds our unique purpose in the darkness.       

     This is the season of lights.        






1 Comment

  1. this is an inspiring blog entry. Thank you. I do hope your friend is not too depressed about comments on her blog. Inspired sadness is my thoughts on nurses who blog about the realities of disease and the human body.

    thanks again, I love following your blog


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