It has become a tradition for me to share with my readers this story about Mother's Day. Over 20 years ago this nurse changed the way I thought about myself .... And it her kindness has lasted a lifetime.
After my daughter was born, I was in a private room in the hospital and feeling quite sad and lonely. I knew that I only had a few days with her and my heart was torn between my guilt and my joy. I always had a smile on my face, that is the kind of person I am, but that smile was hiding a broken spirit within. they were keeping the baby in the nursery because I had a dry birth and she was needing attention. (Dry birth ... my water broke 24 hours before she was born. When the water is absent for that long, it becomes dangerous for the baby because the amniotic fluid is not present to protect from bacteria and germs. It is also a very difficult delivery for the mother because without the fluid the uterus has to contract harder and longer to push the baby out.) The entire nursing staff was accommodating me because they were all so impressed with the decission I had made to place my baby for adoption. I think they were trying to make me as comfortable as I could be so that I could really enjoy the limited time that I had with her. I took a nap and when I woke up one of the nurses was bringing her in.
The nurse was very pretty and had an unforgetable smile. She set me up with all that I needed and she left us alone. After a few hours my daughter was asleep and I was exhausted so I called the nurse station to ask them to take her to the nursery. The same nurse came in and I was still holding my daughter. She came up and rubbed her little head and told me how absolutely beautiful she was. I thanked her and I put her into the crib, I covered her and tucked her in and stepped back. The nurse stood there for a minute and I told her it was alright to go. She started toward the door and then stopped. She turned to me and said "I know that I would get into trouble for saying this...but I think what you are doing is an amazingly selfless thing to do at such a young age. I have worked here a while and I cannot tell you how many girls I see come through here, younger than you, and they keep these babies for all the wrong reasons. I just want to grab them and shake them to wake them up and tell them that there are other alternatives. What you are doing for this family is so amazing. You will hear some horrible things from people who judge you for what you are doing, don't listen to them. I would like to ask that you promise me something." She was now very passionate and I could see the compassion in her eyes through her tears. "What is it?" I asked. "I want you to promise me that from now on, until the day you die, I want you to promise me that you will celebrate Mother's Day. Do something nice for yourself, be good to you every Mother's Day because that is a day that is custom made for women like you. You are an incredible mother and I want you to be proud of yourself." I told her that I would and she grabbed me and gave me a quick, tight, squeeze of a hug and then composed herself.
This was a complete stranger telling me what a difference I had made. I was taken back by her honesty and her utter unconditional understanding of what I was going through. I wish I could find her and tell her that she made an impact on me at a time when I needed acceptance the most. I will never forget her or her words. It is 20 years later, and I am still telling people about this wonderful woman who lifted me up when I was needing it, and helped a heart heal a little more with the kindness of a stranger.