This I Believe

Zoey - Gig Harbor, Washington
Entered on October 24, 2006

Here For A Reason

By: Zoey Dering, RN MSN

I became a registered nurse to support my three boys as a single parent. Although compassionate, paying the bills became the number one priority. I believed the science of nursing laid the foundation of a profitable career. One night, I was asked if I could help out for a couple hours in Oncology instead of working in the ICU. Dealing with the terminally ill was not my idea of nursing. Saving lives had been my specialty for the past ten years. Reluctantly, I agreed. The first two patients were managing fine, but the third shocked me. A thirty-five year old man with an oxygen mask on was struggling to breath. His fiancé told me he had terminal cancer. She had her Bible out. I bent towards him to begin my scientific nursing assessment when I noticed a medal around a silver chain lying close to his heart. I touched the medal. Being raised a Catholic, I recognized it immediately as the “Miraculous Medal” worn by those devoted to praying the rosary. Her eyes met mine while saying, “I forgot to bring his rosary from home and now it’s too late. I don’t think he has much time”. She was right. He had lapsed into a semi-conscious state. I was fumbling around in my pockets to find a pen to write down his current vital signs when my fingers felt a familiar object. I grasped the beads on a circular cotton string which was attached to a plastic cross. It had been given to me by a patient after only being a nurse for a few weeks. Since then, I kept the rosary in my pocket as a “good luck” charm to protect me against making a medication error. I pulled the rosary slowly out of my pocket and was embarrassed to see how dirty and worn it was. I offered it to the man’s fiancé while apologizing for its appearance. “Don’t be embarrassed” she said, while tears rolled down her face. She placed the rosary in her fiancé folded hands. While walking out the door, I heard her trembling voice begin, “I believe in God, the Father, almighty…” My two hours were up and returned to my main assignment in the ICU. The next day, the nursing supervisor came up to me with a white envelop dropped off by a patient’s family. I opened the bulky envelop to find my rosary which had been cleaned to perfection along with a note. “Thank you so much. John passed on peaceful, shortly after praying the rosary. You were here for a reason”. From that day on, I embrace the belief that each of us, are here for a reason. This moment, this time, this place, are meant for a reason. But we often complain if they don’t turn out the way we expected it to. We should instead happily trust being here for a reason and look forward to the revelation of it all in God’s time not ours.