I had a dream last night about the nurse who made my future clear to me:
I’m 11-years-old. Huddled under a table. Crying. Confused. Uncertain. My little brother and sister are with me. They have toys and I’m supposed to watch them while the grown-ups talk.
I can see feet in sneakers with black tights on. They face forward, towards the grown-ups for a long time, and then they come towards us.
I see an upside-down watch on a chest as a hand comes towards me with tissues. “It’s okay to hide,” a voice says. “But do you wanna come talk to Mum instead?” the voice asks. “She knows you are here, she knows you love her.” The voice affirms this so clearly.
The warmth this voice gives me just lifts me up. I can’t describe her hair, her face, her size. But I can still hear that voice.
When they ‘turned off’ Mum later that week I could still hear that voice. Quietly and gently letting me know someone was there. With me. With Mum.
Then I remember waking up from a stupid night out at 19 years old and that voice telling me ‘it was time to choose a path’. I enrolled at university that day.
I know I heard that voice when I woke up from an emergency Caesarean gone very wrong when I was 27 years old. It was telling me I needed to come hug my baby. It was reminding me that I have people to love who need to hear my voice.
I dreamed again last night that she was telling me go well. It’s my last day at an NGO today. Next week I join a DHB-based team of nurses. I hope I am that nameless, faceless voice for others for many years to come.
Thank you to that nurse.
I hope you’re still doing that amazing work with your lovely voice.
This was first published on the New Zealand, please hear our voice Facebook page – a nurse-founded page publishing stories from anonymous and named nurses with the aim of informing the public and building support during the current pay claim campaign.