It wasn’t planned, plotted, or rehearsed when Bobby Wesson snapped a photo of his wife, Rayena, taking a nap with their 2-year-old son, Deacon, before her next nursing shift. It was simply a moment in time that he wanted to remember forever, so he decided to post it to Facebook. He also penned out a moving tribute to the beautiful woman he married to accompany the photo, and it took off almost immediately on social media:
“This is my wife taking a nap,” he wrote. “In an hour she will wake up, put on her scrubs and get ready for work. She will kiss the baby, she will kiss me and she will leave to go take care of people that are having the worst day of their entire lives. Car wrecks, gunshot wounds, explosions, burns and breaks — professionals, poor, pastors, addicts and prostitutes — mothers, fathers, sons, daughters and families — it doesn’t matter who you are or what happened to you. She will take care of you. “
The post goes on to further idolize the woman he loves, but despite the overwhelming shares and support he received on social media, Wesson told me via email that he is still amazed by the response.
“The reason I posted it isn’t some deep, meaningful answer. I love my wife. I love her passion and dedication to her team and her patients. I just had a moment when I was watching her nap before a shift and I literally tapped out that post in less time than it took for the coffee I referenced to brew.”
I grew up with a mom who was a nurse, and her dedication to her job and her patients is something that will always stick with me. She would come home exhausted, but I knew that meant she had fully given her time at the hospital to those who needed it most.
One time, a friend’s mother was hospitalized for meningitis when we were in high school. Later, that woman told me that my mother was the only staff member there who wasn’t afraid to touch her, because she knew that taking care of my friend’s mother was worth the risk of contracting her illness. That story will be one I’ll never forget.
Nurses are so, so strong, and so, so special to so many people. They provide not only crucial life-saving care, but essential support for family members — and they shoulder an emotional load that few of us can imagine. And at the end of their shifts, they come home and care for their families.
In just a few days, Wesson found out an incredible truth. “It turns out there are millions of people out there that love a nurse,” he explained. “I’m just one of them.”