The gift shop in the hospital lobby has a little coffee bar that I frequent.  I can never remember its hours on the weekend, so I usually make at least one trip in vain.

I was on one such trip the other day and felt that familiar irrational surge of rage to see the dark shop.  I started to turn back when I heard someone say, “Are you Diana?”

I looked to see a somewhat familiar face and said, “Yes.”

She then gestured to a young woman standing beside her and told me that I had been her daughter’s nurse. “Remember?  You used to have to straighten her up all the time.”

I looked into her daughter’s eyes and suddenly remembered a young woman who arrested at home.  Her family had performed CPR until the ambulance arrived.  When I met her she had just transferred to the floor.  Alive and doing physically well, but a childlike shell of the person she had been.

“She’s about 90% recovered.  Just some short-term memory problems.”

I gave her a hug and told her how glad I was to see her doing so well.  She never said much.  I doubt she actually remembered me, but her mom continued to gush. “You were one of our favorite nurses.  I know you guys don’t hear it enough, but this is why you do what you do.”

I had gotten my fix after all.