Letter to Sean

I have spent the past few weeks at my ailing father’s bedside.  Most of that time has been in the hospital.  During that time I encountered healthcare professionals that were angels on earth.  I also encountered healthcare professionals that made me wonder why they had chosen this particular profession.

One, a student nurse from Loyalist College, left an impression that is the inspiration for this letter.

April, 2011

Dear Sean,

You saw me in the hospital corridor and were the only person that asked if I needed something.  You were not assigned to my father yet immediately came to my assistance.   You asked my name and used it often.  I was bewildered by the electric razor and you offered to shave him.

I overheard the gentle, friendly manner you spoke to him.  You asked him his name, rather than immediately reposition him.  You explained patiently what you were doing.  You did not assume that, because of his age, he was incapable of understanding.  I heard him laugh at your jokes and you at his.

Again, in the hall, when I apologized for being an anxious daughter and taking you away from your scheduled duties your responded with such compassion and understanding, ”Suzanne, he’s your dad.”

I understand that as a student nurse you may have had more flexibility with your duties.  Whatever the reason, you made a difference that day.

I wish you success in your nursing studies.

I hope your career is always rewarding.

I hope that the overworked and short staffed reality of your career does not change your compassionate approach to nursing.

I wonder if you realize the impact of your kindness that day.

With gratitude,


About etiquetteottawa

Founder and Owner of the Protocol School Of Ottawa
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7 Responses to Letter to Sean

  1. Patricia Scott says:

    He’s my dad too but your letter made me cry! Love you Sis.

  2. karenhickman says:

    Suzanne, this is a lovely story. Thanks for sharing it. It certainly reinforces the point that small acts of kindness have a huge impact, especially when families are struggling with health issues for themselves or their loved ones.

    • Our healthcare workers are certainly overworked, but what a shame when kindness and civility are lost.
      Yes, small acts of kindness can have a huge impact. We never know who may touch in life.
      Thanks for your comments.

  3. Angela says:

    Feeling gratitude without expressing it is like buying a present and not giving it. This is lovely and brought tears to my eyes.

  4. attilathemum says:

    Beautiful Suzanne. I hope my daughter becomes a nurse with a heart like that.

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