When both of my grandmothers were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I was warned that their declining memories would mean that they could confuse the past with the present. In both cases, they talked about their lives as nurses as though in real time, unearthing stories that were once too intimate to share at family parties and Sunday dinners.
During a recent conversation with my maternal grandmother, she rattled on about what she was cooking for dinner that night and, in nearly the same breath, told me she had to go check on her patient. These memories confirmed what I always knew, and what anyone who loves or is a nurse knows — it is more than a career, but a lifelong passion defined by resilience, kindness, and compassion.
Christie Watson was a nurse for 20 years. In The Language of Kindness, she shares the powerful details of beloved patient relationships, including nursing a premature baby who defied its odds of surviving the night, washing the hair of a child fatally injured in a fire to remove the toxic smell of smoke, and comforting a patient suffering from an excruciating heart-lung transplant.
Like all nurses, Christie is there during some of our most vulnerable moments. The Language of Kindness is made even more compelling as Christie narrates it herself. Her steady and assured tone, even when narrating the most emotional parts of the audiobook, demonstrates her ability to remain calm under stormy circumstances, a trait she shares with my grandmothers.
I’m grateful to Christie for both her dedicated career and for giving me the perfect gift to give the nurses in my life. For too long, the only books for people in the medical field have been for doctors. This audiobook is easy to understand even if you haven’t taken Nursing 101, and will give listeners a new appreciation for one of the toughest and most overlooked professions.
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