By Michelle Wildridge

This week is National Nurses Week – a time that is near and dear to my heart for many reasons. I grew up in a family of nurses, so this week was significant when I was a child.

My mom and grandmother, cousins, and aunts really felt like they were loved, not only by their employer, but by their patients and their families. Nurses week was their time of celebration to pat themselves on the back and show without cause or justification the pride they had in their work – a time to say, “I AM A NURSE” and flaunt it!

We are still going through a pandemic and much has changed. Now, more than ever, nurses need to feel loved and celebrated. THEY DESERVE IT. To all nurses throughout our Liberty communities and beyond, here’s my message to you:

As I was thinking about what to write, I came across the Baha’i prayer for peace and it struck me that everything in this prayer is applicable to nurses.

“Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be a lamp unto those who walk in darkness, and a home to the stranger. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be a breath of life to the body of humankind, a dew to the soil of the human heart, and a fruit upon the tree of humility.” Bahai Prayer for Peace

Nurses are generous – they give of themselves in ways others don’t comprehend. Theyare fair, and know when to bite their tongues,even when patients and families don’t understand the gravity of the situation.

Nurses help patients who are in the midst of dying to find peace, comfort, and solace, whether the patient is alone or has 100 people around them. They help guide the families that are struggling to see what is really happening and guide those that understand but are cautious. Nurses smile when a patient goes back home to continue their journey.

They give breath to humankind with their work and care. They keep us going (literally!) by their care and comfort. We could not survive without nurses, andwe cannot forget how important they are.

For National Nurses Week, my prayer to each of you is that you continue to love your patients and, even on the hardest days, to remember how important you are not only to patients and residents but to the staff with whom you work.

May all nurses recognize how important and loved they are. They bring peace and comfort to the world. Thank you nurses, for being the light in the dark and the hope in times of hopelessness.

Though we may not always show or say it, we admire nurses and are so thankful for all they do.

Michelle Wildridge is Chaplain at Paul’s Run.