I agree in the fact that it's terrible for people to have to work on Thanksgiving. But what is worse to me is that my wife, and all the others in her profession out there work not just on Thanksgiving, but on Christmas, and on Easter, and on the 4th of July, and on every other major Holiday -- and it seems to go unnoticed.
My wife is a nurse.
She misses out on seeing her family. She will eventually miss her daughter opening presents. She misses her favorite holiday traditions. She misses out on all of this, all while working 12-plus hours, on her feet, caring for every one else but herself. She works with a full bladder and an empty stomach, because she's been too busy to take care of her own needs.
She deals with the families who think they are the ones who've endured years of nursing school and demand everything under the sun. She deals with patients who are hateful and cant see the fact that she knows exactly what she's doing -- which is keeping them alive.
She deals with losing people after she's given every ounce of her knowledge and heart, and has to face their families during their darkest hours. She deals with watching an elderly woman realize that her lifelong husband is in his last days.
She cries when things are terrible. She cries when she's overwhelmed. She cries when a family gratefully thanks her for everything she's done. She cries when a patient remembers her at the grocery store and asks her for a hug -- and then she even pays for his groceries (true story).
This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for all you nurses out there -- who abandon everything about your own needs and wants, to make this world a better place for everyone else you take care of.
I'm thankful for my wife -- an ICU nurse -- my hero.
This post originally appeared on Rhet's Facebook page.