Compassion is Chicken Soup for the Soul: Project Good Words

A Project Good Words Challenge

This article is being written in response to a Project Good Words Challenge from my friend, and fellow hubber, Maria Jordan, aka Marcoujor on HubPages. The word for this week is compassion; a word that Merriam Webster's Online Dictionary defines as, "A feeling of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry, in trouble, etc."

Maria and I are both nurse authors who have recently written true stories of compassion that have been published in book anthologies. I'm going to use those stories to illustrate the best and worst examples of nursing compassion, or lack thereof.

Gail Sobotkin, aka Happyboomernurse, has a story, "The Boy I Loved & Lost," in the new book, "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Inner Strength."
Gail Sobotkin, aka Happyboomernurse, has a story, "The Boy I Loved & Lost," in the new book, "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Inner Strength."

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Inner Strength

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Inner Strength includes a story by Gail Sobotkin, titled "The Boy I Loved and Lost."
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Inner Strength includes a story by Gail Sobotkin, titled "The Boy I Loved and Lost." | Source

The Boy I Loved and Lost by Gail Sobotkin

I was excited when I learned my story, "The Boy I Loved & Lost," would be included in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Inner Strength. The story's about my first love, Helmut, who died from bone cancer when he was 21 and I was 18. His death changed the course of my life because it inspired me to switch my college major from English to Nursing, and to silently dedicate my future career in his honor.

I'm retired from nursing now, but had the opportunity to speak at a Grief Workshop and Labyrinth Walk on November 1st in recognition of Delaware's Grief Awareness Week. The free event was sponsored by Delaware Hospice and the Milton Wellness Center, and participating in it was very meaningful for me because I'm a great believer in hospice services.

Such care did not exist when I lost Helmut, and worse still, the nurses who took care of him during the last 2 days of his life (which was the only time he spent in the hospital) seemed to be lacking one of the most basic qualities a nurse should have---compassion. They pretty much ignored both of us, checking on Helmut only when I asked them to, and then they acted like they couldn't get out of the room fast enough. None of them taught me comfort measures, told me what to expect, or took me aside to ask me how I was doing. No one told me, or Helmut's mother, the importance of releasing our loved one and letting him pass gently to the other side.

For 36 years after Helmut's death I aspired to be the kind of nurse Helmut had wanted me to be---a compassionate nurse who eased, whenever possible, the pain and suffering of those I cared for. I knew that the way nurses had treated us had been one of my greatest lessons in compassion because it taught me how not to act when caring for a patient who is dying.

But there was another teacher in the hospital room Helmut died in all those years ago, one I hadn't been conscious of until the night before I wrote my speech for the recent grief workshop, when the memory of Helmut's roommate, John, came rushing in on a flood of tears.

I read somewhere that memories are like diamonds in the treasure chest of your spirit, and the memory I had of John, the middle aged man in the bed across from Helmut's, came back to me like newly discovered hidden treasure. It was painful at first, then wonderfully comforting, as though a light-bulb had gone off in my head and illuminated a beautiful truth---John had taught me how to comfort and support a dying patient's loved ones with compassionate words.

John's Words Were a Gift of Compassion

This is what I remembered. While Helmut was sleeping, John waved me over to his own bedside. At first I thought he might want me to get him something but he said, "Helmut had a rough time last night, but your presence seems to soothe and calm him. He's like a different man when you're here. Please forgive me if I'm overstepping my bounds, but there's something I've been puzzling over---you both look so young, but the way you are together seems so intimate---like a couple who's been married for years. Are you his wife?"

I shook my head, "No, I'm his girlfriend, but we've been together for 2 years."

"May I ask how old you are?"

"18."

"So young to be going through something like this. It must be really hard on you."

I fought back tears and simply nodded that it was.

"You love him very much, don't you?"

I nodded again, and he waited a moment before speaking, as if cautiously weighing what he wanted to say. "It's palpable. I can see it, I can feel it, and simply watching the love between you has changed my whole perspective about young people, love, life, and even my own situation. I was feeling sorry for myself and hopeless about my future. My marriage recently broke up, I've lost my job and needed this surgery, but now I know I'm blessed to have a future and that I can go home and recover completely, and maybe even find the kind of love you and Helmut have someday. I don't know why, but I felt I needed to tell you these things and to tell you I'm sorry you're going through such a painful experience at such a young age."

"Thank you," I said. "That means a lot to me. I hope you do recover completely and find the love you're looking for."

Helmut and Me

Helmut and me at my High School Graduation Dinner, the year before he died.
Helmut and me at my High School Graduation Dinner, the year before he died. | Source

The Power of Love

I didn't realize it at the time, but John taught me the power of bearing witness to love, and the power of love itself. Love changes everything. It brings comfort, hope and heals the spirit even when healing the body is no longer possible.

Compassion is love. It lets the one who's hurting know their pain is recognized, and that another person is trying to alleviate it.

John's words reassured me that my presence, my love, was making a positive difference for Helmut. Even though I didn't consciously think that out when he spoke to me, I found myself uttering similar words throughout my long nursing career to the families of patients who were dying. I would teach them comfort measures and gently guide them through the dying process, letting them know that their presence, their love was the most powerful tool at their disposal.

And I also taught them that self-love and self-care were equally important. That the nurses, aides, and social worker were there to support them and that it was okay to go out, or take a nap when the aide was with their loved one.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Inner Strength

Happyboomernurse is proud to have her story included in the latest Chicken Soup for the Soul book.
Happyboomernurse is proud to have her story included in the latest Chicken Soup for the Soul book. | Source

Marcoujor's Review of "The Boy I Loved & Lost."

Marcoujor, aka Maria Jordan, introduced and reviewed, "The Boy I Loved and Lost" on her website, Marcoujor's Musings. To read the review, go to: http://www.marcoujor.com/mars-desk/the-boy-i-loved-and-lost-by-gail-sobotkin-in-chicken-soup-for-the-soul-find-your-inner-strength . Then take time to explore the rest of Marcoujor's Musings which contains inspirational stories, book reviews, and info about where to purchase books this amazing nurse/ author/teacher has published and/or edited.

Read 101 Stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Inner Strength

You can read my story, "The Boy I Loved and Lost," and 100 other empowering stories of resilience, positive thinking, compassion and overcoming challenges, in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Inner Strength which is now available at most book stores and through Amazon.com and other online retailers.

The stories will help you find the inner strength to handle the challenges in your own life, and the book makes a great gift, especially for someone who is facing difficult circumstances.

Chicken Soup for the Soul Poll

Do you own a Chicken Soup for the Soul Book?

  • Yes
  • No, and I'm not interested in reading or buying one.
  • No, but I'd like to buy this one.
  • Yes, and I'd like to buy this one.
See results without voting

Nurse Author Published in Tales 2 Inspire: The Ruby Collection ~ Gifts of Compassion

Banner created by Mike Friedman, aka Mckbirdbks.
Banner created by Mike Friedman, aka Mckbirdbks.

Tales to Inspire: The Ruby Collection Review

The Ruby Collection is garnering 5 star reviews on Amazon.com including my own: "Each and every story touched my heart deeply. If you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a world where people and animals are treated with compassion, kindness and love, where the human spirit rises up again and again to meet seemingly impossible challenges, where faith triumphs over despair, where young children and abused animals teach adult humans life lessons, where the homeless are treated with respect and compassion, you must read The Ruby Collection, an anthology of 14 stories that will inspire you to live your own life with an open heart--- despite, or perhaps because of, whatever difficulties you may face.
Compassion is a gift that keeps on giving; it changes the giver, recipient, and all those who witness the compassionate act. It makes the world a better, kinder place and when delivered with love, has the power to transform the globe one person at a time." ~Gail Sobotkin

Song of Compassion: You've Got a Friend

Tales 2 Inspire: The Ruby Collection ~ Gifts of Compassion

Tales to Inspire: The Ruby Collection ~ Gifts of Compassion is an anthology of moving stories around the theme of compassion.

Every story in this gem of a book touched my heart, but the story that was written by my dear friend, and fellow hubber, Maria Jordan, made my spirit soar because it portrays a caring, gifted nurse. It's titled, "When Compassion Replaces Fear," and is a true tale about a psychiatric nurse who uses music and other creative means to reach out to a psychotic female patient, helping her re-enter society and the work force. Told by a nursing instructor, this story is a shining example of nursing at its finest and I wish every seasoned nurse and student nurse would read it as they will surely find inspiration to "go the extra mile" for their own patients.

This story, and book, is for anyone looking for an inspiring read that will warm their heart and restore their faith in humanity. Tales 2 Inspire: The Ruby Collection ~ Gifts of Compassion also makes a great gift for the holidays or for a friend struggling through hard times.

It's made my own holiday shopping easier this year as I know friends who will be uplifted by all of the amazing, compassionate stories in this beautiful book.


When Compassion Replaces Fear

Tales2Inspire ~ The Ruby Collection: Gifts of Compassion

Project Good Words Challenge

This hub was created after Maria Jordan challenged me to write about compassion as part of the Light2Love Project Good Words which was started by hubber Jo Goldsmith. To learn more about this project, and see some uplifting examples of it, click on the following links.

Thanks to the Compassionate Nurses I've Known

During my long nursing career I was blessed to work with many compassionate nurses who taught me, through their positive examples, how to improve my nursing skills and comfort patients.

In my private life, there have been many nurses, aides and social workers who have extended tremendous compassion and great care to my loved ones who were in the hospital for surgery, health care issues, or at the end days of their lives. They reinforced my belief that providing emotional and physical assistance to a patient's loved ones and care givers is an integral part of quality nursing. I was blessed that they took care of some of my loved ones when I was unable to be with them myself.

More by this Author


Comments 72 comments

marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Oh dear Gail,

How wonderful that I received the formal notification of this from HP before I left out for my class tonight...

This heartfelt article on COMPASSION from your beautiful and sensitive eyes is everything I dreamed it would be and more. As much as I think I know about you and your story, I am forever learning more...how inspirational that you shared the life lessons of the love in compassion that is truly ageless that John taught you...that lesson has served you well from the moment you learned it for sure.

You are a mentor and a friend - what a gift! Thank you for also showcasing my story as told in The Ruby Collection. I cannot wait to send you an autographed copy once my delivery arrives...

I love your perfect song choice... one of my favorites!

Love you and your big, compassionate heart...voting UP and UABI and sharing too...as well as linking to the hub I published today, Maria


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Thanks to all the nurses I have known, and thanks to you for sharing this part of your soul with us. What a beautiful story, written by a beautiful person. I am lucky and honored to know you, Gail.

your friend, always

bill


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

You sure were much too young to be dealing with cancer and losing some one you cared so deeply for. But, you learned a flourished from the experience and yet, you never forgot him. You are a woman of compassion...it's my pleasure knowing you. Congrats again on being published in CSFTS! :)


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Aw Maria,

I felt the same way when I read your Project Good Words hub on compassion and when I read your story, "When Compassion Replaces Fear," in Tales2Inspire: The Ruby Collection ~ Gifts of Compassion.

Thanks for your support, the vote up and the share.

You are a true blessing in my life.

Love & Hugs,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

The feeling's mutual, Bill. I'm lucky and honored to know you and to have your support for my writing. I'm also glad you wrote a hub about how to get published in a Chicken Soup for the Soul Book. They really are good to their writing contributors.

Hugs,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Linda,

Thanks so much for all your support and kind words. You are always a ray of sunshine, kindness and compassion, no matter what challenges you're facing in life.

Your husband Dave, and so many others in the cancer support network are lucky to have you in their corner, keeping up with the latest treatments and procedures, lending compassion and spreading encouragement.

Hugs,

Gail


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

Gail, this is a beautiful look at your life, losing someone you love so young is heartbreaking. Your compassion shines through your words. I was a nurse for 34 years and saw so much suffering and triumphs. I've read your stories and want to walk the labyrinth that's close to me. When i read your piece I was grieving the loss of my sis Eva and still am at times. I know walking the path will help me with the process. Thank you for telling your story. God bless you and family..


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa

Dear Gail, while reading this heart-touching hub of yours, I remembered the intensity of young love. I cannot even comprehend a loss like yours. But so true, such an experience changes the course of one's life. If it was not for Helmut, you may not have found your niche in health care. Considering your natural compassion, I can hardly see you in any other occupation.

Marcoujor, too, was born to be a nurse. Her experiences, too, are most inspiring and will strengthen and encourage any aspiring nurse.

I feel so sad, not knowing nurses like you and Mar in real life. I know they are around, but for some reason I have never met them. The nurses I have met in my life were apparently blasé, doing their jobs like programmed robots, lacking compassion from head to toes.

The entire Chicken Soup for the Soul series looks like an asset in one's personal library. I feel like collecting them all.

This is a heart-touching hub, exposing your beautiful, compassionate personality. Voted up and awesome!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Gail.....Even as a young woman in her late teens, you had the gift and wisdom of compassion through deep love. It is no wonder you are a dedicated and comforting Nurse. "Angels of Mercy." This is what I discovered during my sister's Hospice care. I will never forget those women. I know that we all felt blessed to have them with us during Pat's final days.

Oh the tears.....I'll say no more. UP beautiful awesome shared tweeted pinned & googled.


David Stone1 profile image

David Stone1 2 years ago from New York City

Thanks for this uplifting bit of sharing and insight. Few people other than nurses bear witness to loss so profoundly and continuously. It seems very brave of you to carry your pain forward in service to others.


Vickiw 2 years ago

Hi Gail,

I enjoyed reading this so much. Maria made a wise choice in passing the baton to you. There is so much packed into this article that it takes a while to read it all.

You were very young when you learned the value of compassion, especially how to help others in extreme distress, and this must have made a powerful impact on the rest of your life.

It's great that you had the opportunity of having your story selected for CSFTS.

Wonderful article, and thank you for writing it.

Hugs, Vicki


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

What a wonderful article. Thank you for sharing the story about Helmut, and John's thoughtful words to you. This is a great addition to the Good Words project.Voted up.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Dear Gail,

Thank you for sharing about your dear Helmut and having to endure such a great loss at such a young age. I am so glad you remembered John's gift of compassionate words to you. You learned so much at an early age, and there is no telling how many lives you have blessed in your lifetime of showing compassion for others.

You are beautiful, as is Maria. Thank you for sharing about Maria's story in The Ruby Collection! You too beautiful women are a fine example of the type of character it takes to change lives for the better and bring beauty into this sometimes dark world.

Thank you for being you!

Up ++++ sharing everywhere

Hugs and many blessings always


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

This wonderfully touching story reminded me of the reason why I chose to become a nurse.

Compassion is one of the things that define us, not only as nurses, but as caring human beings. I believe that with every experience, there are lessons to be learned. You've taken this very painful episode and change it into a very positive life affirming experience. This takes a great deal of strength and courage. A beautiful, sad but very inspirational read to start my day.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

This is a wonderful read Gail and I for sure vote up and share. Tender yet powerful. Great work and I wish you a wonderful day.

Eddy.


mary615 profile image

mary615 2 years ago from Florida

I worked in the medical profession for many years as a Medical Technologist, and I witnessed the compassion of nurses many times. It takes a special person to be a loving and caring nurse, and I commend them all.

Congrats on having your story published in the book. I will make a point of purchasing the book.

Voted UP, etc. and shared.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

Yes, beautiful is the word. I have unfortunately met nurses who should be working on construction but I've also met nurses who show the care, respect, and compassion you have shown. I am honored to know you and Maria and Martie. You gals have so much to teach this sad world!

Voted up, useful, and awesome.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Ruby (Always Exploring),

Thanks for leaving such a heartfelt comment. I hope you do get the opportunity to walk a labyrinth near you in memory of your sister, Eva. Many people, including myself, find it helpful and comforting to walk the labyrinth in times of stress or grief.

Thanks for your blessings and support. It means a lot to me.

Blessings, Hugs & Love,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Dear Martie,

I too, feel sad that you haven't found compassionate nurses, especially recently when compassion, in addition to quality care, was so needed.

I thank you for your own compassion. Yes, going through what I did with Helmut at such a young age was difficult and certainly not something I would have chosen to do, but looking back I can see that it helped form my character, my desire to help others through nursing and see the world through different eyes. It taught me life is precious and to be lived fully each and every day.

Mar and I often wish you lived nearby, but even with you being on a different continent, your beautiful spirit has found a place clear into our hearts.

Know that we send you healing thoughts and that you are loved.

Hugs,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Dear Paula (fpherj48),

I've got tears in my eyes, too, after reading your touching comment. So grateful your sister, Pat, was blessed with compassionate care at the end of her life.

Thanks so much for your support and for Tweeting, Pinning and Googling this article.

Sending Blessings, Love & Hugs,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi David Stone,

Thanks for your compassionate, and profound, comment. I very much appreciate your kind words.

Blessings,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Vicki,

Thanks, as always, for your support. Knowing that you have done grief work with yourself and others makes your compassionate response to this article even closer to my heart.

Yes, it did impact my life in powerful, and eventually, positive ways and I feel that my sharing the story in Chicken Soup for the Soul has been a wonderful opportunity to help others on their grieving journey. That is truly amazing to me.

I think, as I know you do, that shared grief is healing and yet in our society too often grief is stunted, held in and the griever is left feeling isolated at the very time they need support.

I have already gotten feedback from friends I have known for years that this story has touched them deeply and that the workshop I spoke at has helped them on their own grief journeys. And, wow, that was really moving to me.

Sending Blessings, Love & Hugs,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Dear Jodah,

Thanks for your heartfelt feedback. This is the first hub I've written in a year, and I'm glad that it is now part of the Good Words Project!

Blessings,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Dear Theresa (Faith Reaper),

Oh my, I could feel the comfort of your words and the blessings behind them in such a powerful way.

You are graced with a compassionate heart and knowing just what to say to lift one's spirits.

Thanks for raising mine, and for your support, and for the "sharing everywhere."

Sending Blessings, Love & Hugs,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Tobusiness,

Glad you found it inspirational and it helped you get a good start to your day. I can tell, just from your comment that you are a compassionate nurse and I appreciate you taking time to give me such positive, and uplifting feedback.

Sending Blessings Your Way,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Eddy,

How wonderful to see your lovely comment. It really brightened my day! So good to hear from you.

Sending Blessings & Love Across the Miles,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Mary,

Thanks for leaving such a lovely comment. I'm going to try to email you through HubPages tonight or tomorrow morning.

Hope you are doing well.

Sending Blessings, Love & Hugs

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Dear Mary (Tillsontitan),

Thanks for leaving such an insightful comment and for your kind words and support. They're greatly appreciated.

Yes, it is a blessing to have friends like Maria, Martie, and so many other great writers that I originally met through HubPages.

Blessings,

Gail


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida

Gail, I know Helmut has been smiling down on you from the day you changed your major. In fact, I would go so far as to say he had something to do with you finding your dear husband, Fred. He's thrilled that you've found love once again and have touched so many lives.

I am honored to call you and Maria friends. As Mar likes to say, "true blue". The two of you are inspirational. You put others before yourselves even when you're having issues of your own. That, my friend, is the definition of compassion. I will be adding both your anthologies to my library with love and pride.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Oh Sha, your comment has tears in my eyes, for I do feel that Helmut has always been smiling down on me since the day I changed my major. And when I learned this story was going to be published in CSFS I did feel like he was happy about the fact that Fred was in my life and yet I had still been able to touch so many other lives throughout my nursing career.

So glad you found both stories inspirational and will have both anthologies in your library.

Sending Love & Hugs,

Gail


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

I had to come back to tell you your article in Chicken Soup was amazing. I am so very honored to that special book! Thank you Gail and I hope they sell a million copies so everyone can see how special you truly are.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Mary (Tillsontitan),

Thanks for stopping by again to let me know how much you like the Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Inner Strength book, and my story in it.

I hope they sell a million copies so a million people have a chance to read all 101 stories. There are so many different challenging life circumstances depicted in the book that I believe each reader will find a story that speaks directly to their heart and helps them deal with a similar situation.

Sending Love & Hugs Your Way,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Mary (Tillsontitan),

Thanks for stopping by again to let me know how much you like the Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Inner Strength book, and my story in it.

I hope they sell a million copies so a million people have a chance to read all 101 stories. There are so many different challenging life circumstances depicted in the book that I believe each reader will find a story that speaks directly to their heart and helps them deal with a similar situation.

Sending Love & Hugs Your Way,

Gail


Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

Jo_Goldsmith11 2 years ago

So very blessed and honored to read your heart warming thoughts and message here. This story is just too wonderful and is filled with so much wisdom, depths of love and compassion. Out of your heart break you awakened into one of those rare special persons to find.

Congratulations and cheers on your latest novel.

I will be sure to get a copy soon. :-)

Praying for continued blessings and lots of love in your life! Thank you so much for inspiring, touching and creating the beauty to just be yourself! :-)

Shared and Up +++ as so deserving to be

Shalom


mdscoggins profile image

mdscoggins 2 years ago from Fresno, CA

Gail thank you for your service to the medical field and also for writing about compassion. Compassion is a skill that is surely needed by those that work with people and especially ill people. I have had my fair share of medical staff that lack bedside mannerisms but you far surpassed that in your career. I am sure you were a shining light for those that came after you while passing along those lessons you learned from an unlikely giver.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Dear Jo,

Your kind and compassionate words have surely touched my heart and brought a smile to my face.

I want to thank you for starting Project Good Words which is spreading positive messages and articles throughout the world.

My story, "The Boy I Loved & Lost," is just one of 101 true and inspiring stories in "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Inner Strength."

I do feel blessed with a wonderful husband and supportive friends.

I haven't written a novel. Tried to once, but never finished it.

Sending Blessings Your Way,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Dear Jo,

Your kind and compassionate words have surely touched my heart and brought a smile to my face.

I want to thank you for starting Project Good Words which is spreading positive messages and articles throughout the world.

My story, "The Boy I Loved & Lost," is just one of 101 true and inspiring stories in "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Inner Strength."

I do feel blessed with a wonderful husband and supportive friends.

I haven't written a novel. Tried to once, but never finished it.

Sending Blessings Your Way,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Dear Mdscoggins,

Thanks so much for your kind and compassionate words, which are very much appreciated.

For the most part, I was blessed to work alongside many compassionate nurses and caregivers during my long career and I learned as much from them as they did from me.

May Your Own Blessings Abound,

Gail


mary615 profile image

mary615 2 years ago from Florida

I just want you to know I am almost finished reading the book Chicken Soup for the Soul. I cannot put it down. So many inspiring stories, including yours, of course.

These kinds of stories make me want me to try to be a better person, and to appreciate my life even more.

Goodnight, Mary


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Dear Mary,

So glad you're enjoying the book and reading all of the stories. I read, and was inspired by, all of them too, and am humbled to have my story in this volume.

Your own stories are equally inspiring, and I treasure your feedback.

Thanks for leaving such a lovely comment. It's greatly appreciated.

Sending Blessings & Love,

Gail


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Your poignant story penetrated deep into my heart. I know that Helmut is directly responsible for your being a nurse and for your Fred. I also know that Helmut is never far from where you are, even today.

The loving, compassionate young 18 year old girl has become who we all know and treasure here at Hub Pages as 'happyboomer'.

How blessed we are. I will never forget how compassionate you were with me when I joined HP 6 years ago and you learned that I had just lost my beautiful son, Todd, to cancer. I will forever be grateful Gail.

I'm ordering both the 'Chicken Soup" and Maria's book "The Ruby Collection."

How blessed I am, to be in the company of such angels.

Warm hugs and lasting love,

Audrey


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Audrey,

Oh my, your heartfelt comment brought tears to my eyes, especially when you spoke of your son, Todd, whose loss I do remember. He would most certainly be proud of the many inspirational writings you've done at HubPages and more importantly, the support you've given to so many others, always shedding light where there is darkness, and hope where there seems to be no hope.

I appreciate the friendship and support you've always given me.

Please be on the look-out for an email I'm going to send you.

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.

Sending Blessings, Love & Hugs,

Gail


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 2 years ago from United States

Gail, As another retired nurse I relate to your words so well. I was fortunate to have a wonderful mentor when I began my career, but I was not as young as you were. What a touching story! I thoroughly enjoyed your hub, as I had two particular patients that touched my heart also. Blessings to you.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Pam,

Thanks for your kind words and for sharing some of your own nursing experiences. Good mentors are a true blessing.

Sending Love & Hugs Your Way,

Gail


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 24 months ago

Gail, I have been trying to comment on this wonderful article. I wish that you could have been one of my husband's nurses, though most were very nice and compassionate (countdown to a miracle).

Your love story brought tears and comfort at the same time.

Blessings to you.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 24 months ago from East Coast, United States

What a beautiful story. I am so sorry that you had to suffer such grief at such a tender age. But Helmut has been an angel in your life, he, as well as his roommate, taught you about real compassion, that it does not weaken but strengthens us. Grief and loss can wreck us or we can turn it into something that makes us better people and it sure looks like this is what you have done. A year and a half ago, my daughter was in three hospitals for a month. The kindness of nurses makes all the difference to patients as well as to families.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 24 months ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Gail,

So very sorry that you lost Helmut at such a young age. That experience was obviously formative in the direction that your life took.

I also lost a boy that I loved at an early age but was unable to comfort him as his death was instant. He was a Navy pilot and died in a training accident near Pensacola. It shook my life at the time. I was in the last year of my nurse's training and we were discussing marriage. I stayed in touch with his parents until they both died even long after I had married. They were wonderful people who had lost both of their children.

Your entry and also Maria's sound wonderful. Will put those books on my list. Up votes and happy to share.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 24 months ago from sunny Florida

Kudos on your accomplishment!! And, yes, compassion is a key to the road back from illness and sorrow and pain. When others can feel that goodness, it is life changing.

Thank you for sharing this so eloquently.

Angels are on the way to you today ps Shared


colorfulone profile image

colorfulone 24 months ago from Minnesota

Nurses like you are heart warming, your love and dedication to your calling to be a nurse is truly inspiring to me, Gail. You all must have a gift of mercy and compassion for those you care for, and comfort.

Blessing to you and all nurses!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 24 months ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Shyron,

Your compassionate and kind comment tugged at my heart.

Thanks for sharing some of the experiences you and your husband had when he required care.

Sending Blessings & Love,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 24 months ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Dolores,

Thanks for your compassionate and insightful comment. I agree with what you said and was comforted by your kind words.

Sorry to hear your daughter had a long hospital stay 18 months ago, but am glad that the nurses who took care of her were kind.

Hope she is doing well at the present time.

Sending Blessings & Hugs,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 24 months ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Dolores,

Thanks for your compassionate and insightful comment. I agree with what you said and was comforted by your kind words.

Sorry to hear your daughter had a long hospital stay 18 months ago, but am glad that the nurses who took care of her were kind.

Hope she is doing well at the present time.

Sending Blessings & Hugs,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 24 months ago from South Carolina Author

Dear Peggy,

Sorry to hear of your own loss at such a young age. It is indeed something that stays with us forever---not in a morbid way, but in a formative way. In that sense, I do believe it helped both of us become compassionate nurses and people.

I think that sudden loss, like you experienced is even harder because there is no time to say goodbye.

Thanks for leaving such an insightful comment.

I do think you'll enjoy both books but please check your HP email before purchasing them.

I appreciate the vote up and the share.

Sending Love, Hugs & Blessings,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 24 months ago from South Carolina Author

Dear Peggy,

Sorry to hear of your own loss at such a young age. It is indeed something that stays with us forever---not in a morbid way, but in a formative way. In that sense, I do believe it helped both of us become compassionate nurses and people.

I think that sudden loss, like you experienced is even harder because there is no time to say goodbye.

Thanks for leaving such an insightful comment.

I do think you'll enjoy both books but please check your HP email before purchasing them.

I appreciate the vote up and the share.

Sending Love, Hugs & Blessings,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 24 months ago from South Carolina Author

Dear Peggy,

Sorry to hear of your own loss at such a young age. It is indeed something that stays with us forever---not in a morbid way, but in a formative way. In that sense, I do believe it helped both of us become compassionate nurses and people.

I think that sudden loss, like you experienced is even harder because there is no time to say goodbye.

Thanks for leaving such an insightful comment.

I do think you'll enjoy both books but please check your HP email before purchasing them.

I appreciate the vote up and the share.

Sending Love, Hugs & Blessings,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 24 months ago from South Carolina Author

Dear Pstraubie,

Thanks for your kind and insightful comment and, most especially, for sending the angels my way today. I love angels!

Sending Blessings & Love,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 24 months ago from South Carolina Author

Dear Pstraubie,

Thanks for your kind and insightful comment and, most especially, for sending the angels my way today. I love angels!

Sending Blessings & Love,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 24 months ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Colorfulone,

Love the shout out to all the nurses!

Thanks for your kindness and for leaving such a wonderful comment.

Sending Blessings Your Way,

Gail


mary615 profile image

mary615 24 months ago from Florida

Hi, just came back to let you know I submitted my story on our family's Thanksgiving Tradition about three weeks ago. I also submitted three of my other articles. I would be so thrilled if one of mine is chosen!

Thanks for encouraging me to submit my story.

I hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 24 months ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Mary,

Thanks for the update. As you know I adore the story about your family's Thanksgiving Tradition and it definitely has the feel of a "Chicken Soup for the Soul" story.

I wish you the best of luck on all your entries and hope you'll come back and leave another comment here if any of them get accepted for publication.

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas, too!

Love & Hugs,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 24 months ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Mary,

Thanks for the update. As you know I adore the story about your family's Thanksgiving Tradition and it definitely has the feel of a "Chicken Soup for the Soul" story.

I wish you the best of luck on all your entries and hope you'll come back and leave another comment here if any of them get accepted for publication.

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas, too!

Love & Hugs,

Gail


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 22 months ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Gail,

Just wanted you to know that I got a late start in reading the Chicken Soup for the Soul book for various reasons, but am now reading several stories a day. It is a perfect book for doing that! When I finish reading it I will be writing a review of it and will let you know.

The stories are each so wonderful and enriching. It should be on everyone's list of books to own and give as gifts to others. One or more of the stories is bound to hit home with almost anyone reading it.

Thank you Gail!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 22 months ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Peggy,

Thanks so much for your feedback on this website and for your intention to write a review when you've finished the book! Your support is appreciated and valued.

I agree that it's a great book to read a few stories at a time, and that most readers will be able to identify with one or more of them.

I'm enjoying the linocut artwork gift you sent, and treasure it.

Sending Blessings, Hugs & Love,

Gail


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 22 months ago from Houston, Texas

Dear Gail,

I just published my review of the book and wanted to know if I have your permission to use your photo. If you approve, I will include it with the books as a backdrop. I hope you like it!

Sending blessings and hugs your way!

Peggy


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 22 months ago from Houston, Texas

I published my review of it Gail. Let me know how you like it. I loved reading each and every story. Obviously the one you wrote touched me on a more personal level because of my losing Charles. Sadly I did not get a chance to say goodbye like you did with your Helmut.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 22 months ago from South Carolina Author

Dear Peggy,

I apologize for the long delay in responding to your comments (and just sent you an email explaining why.)

Will be heading over to read the review right after this and if you haven't done so already, you can use my photo.

Thanks so much for your feedback and for taking time to do a whole review about Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Inner Strength. That was truly thoughtful and very much appreciated.

I'm sorry you didn't get a chance to say goodbye to your Charles, especially since his death was so unexpected. I know that like me, you moved forward with your life and eventually found love and happiness, but there will always be a special place in your heart for Charles.

Sending Blessings & Hugs,

Gail


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 18 months ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Gail,

Thanks for your inquiry as to how we fared with the epic flooding in Houston which took place due to torrential rains last night after the grounds were already saturated from much rain prior to this event. Much of the city is still reeling with the after effects and thousands of people will have lost vehicles and/or had their homes and businesses flooded. Appreciate your prayers. We lucked out but many Houstonians will be dealing with the detritus left behind for a long time to come.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 18 months ago from South Carolina Author

Dear Peggy,

So glad you are okay, but so sorry about the devastation and deaths that the epic rains are having on your beloved, and beautiful, city and many of its residents.

Will keep all in my thoughts and prayers.

Iwas greatly relieved to hear back from you so quickly.

Love & Hugs,

Gail


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 17 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Gail! A pretty little birdie told me it's your birthday today!! I'd like to wish you a very happy special day!!!! Do whatever you want to do.....and have a huge piece of cake for me please!! Hugs, Paula


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 17 months ago from South Carolina Author

Dear Paula,

Thanks so much for the birthday wishes. Sorry it's taken me so long to respond to this lovely note. Yes, I did have fun on my birthday and the day after it, too!

I think I can guess which pretty birdie spread the news and she was the first one to celebrate it with me when we were in Cape May a few weeks ago.

Thanks again for the good wishes and for your friendship, too.

Love and Hugs,

Gail


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 17 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Gail....LOL......We know a lot of pretty birdies around here...but I'm sure you're thinking of the right one!! We have our ways to figure things out!! LOL......No such thing as secrets amongst the birdies!!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 17 months ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Paula,

So true! Thanks for making me smile for the second time today.

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