In recognizing Hadley, I hope to not only honor what I just witnessed her do but honor the fact that this event is not an isolated event or a "one-off", but a daily practice by this young nurse to put her whole heart into nursing. She exemplifies not only the qualities the hospital strives to achieve as its mission statement but what it means to be light in this world. She does not interact with the children and the families in her care in the way that she does in order to gain attention or only when people are looking. She creates a loving, healing and safe environment in which to best heal because that is who she is. This young nurse is a true gift to anyone lucky enough to be in her presence. That being said, if God saw fit to place me in a situation that put one of my own children in her care, I would know from my bones that they would be in the best environment for healing. Hadley is that special person who elevates everyone around her, and it feels good just to be around that sort of positive energy. If it were in my power I would not want to take her out of the valuable role she is in, but look for a way that she might elevate the gift that she brings.
The following is just an example, but I have seen her do this sort of thing numerous times in the hospital. Just now I witnessed a family that returned to the hospital on a mission to find Hadley and thank her for what she did for them when they were being cared for by her in the recent past. I retrieved Hadley from the Hematology Oncology floor to where the family stood to wait for her. I looked on as Hadley embraced each of them as though they were her own family, and engaged them in a multitude of genuine questions as to how they have been. I have to admit that it made me weep to see such love and compassion, and I popped into an open elevator so as not to disturb the moment. If only this hospital could bottle this light, this compassion, no one would want to go anywhere but where they felt this kind of love.
Please honor the precious gifts that Hadley brings, and the sort of nursing she embodies for so many she has helped to feel empowered by her strength and love. As a mother, I can only imagine the fear and helplessness that might come from watching my child suffer. I can only imagine the prayers whispered into the possibilities of the uncertain sunrise outside the hospital window. And then I imagine Hadley walking into the room and lighting the way into the thought, yes, we can do this.