When my sister was delivering my oldest niece, she was attended by the grumpiest L and D nurse on planet Earth. Quickly dubbed Nurse Ratchet, her favorite expression, as I recall, was "um, no."
I'd like my sister to be in the delivery room with me. Um, no.
I'd like something to drink. Um, no.
I'm feeling a little uncomfortable. Um, no.
Ice chips? Um, no.
Thankfully, change of shift rolled around, Nurse Ratchet skedaddled to be replaced by a kinder, gentler soul.
A few weeks ago our adult faith formation class watched a clip of Bishop Fulton Sheen talking about the unique call placed on nurses and doctors. Help care providers, he stated, have a special duty to be kind.
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From about age three on, my best friend was Susan Bennett who lived just up the street. Her mother was Marian Bennett. What I remember best about Mrs. Bennett was her piano playing and her kindness. She was just an upbeat person, not fake, but cheerful and kind. And I remember that fifty years later.
My Aunt Margaret is another nice person. She always welcomed me into her home. She smiled. She brought me a Popsicle when I was covered in the most hideous case of Poison Ivy ever. And I remember that forty-five years later.
We're all familiar with 1 Corinthians 13:4-8: