Ashlyn Chase's book store
Andy is the new nurse and has to work on Christmas Day. She’s part of a skeleton crew taking care of one little boy with end-stage Muscular Dystrophy. As she reads to him, Jeff, a young intern, visits. Through their love of this little boy, Andy and Jeff discover a deep connection and love for each other.
"Since I was the newest nurse and the senior nurses were given first choice of holiday time, I cursed the fact that I had to work on the least favorite workday of the year. Even though I knew why I had pulled this shift, I couldn’t help resenting the fact that I wouldn’t be able to share Christmas morning with my own five-year-old child. Heather’s little face scrunched up and tears settled in her eyes when I told her that even though she would be able to open her stocking and gifts from Santa with Grandma and Grandpa at their house, Mommy wouldn’t be there. She would have to wait until I arrived in the early evening for the rest of her gifts from me. That’s a lot to ask of a five-year-old. My aching heart made me wish that I could be in two places at once. Remind me again…why did I want to become a nurse?
By the time I arrived at work on Christmas morning, all the kids who were capable of leaving the hospital had gone home on a leave of absence for the holiday…all except Bobby. The state hospital for handicapped children was eerily quiet and deserted. Even the boy in the iron lung had gone home with a special breathing apparatus.
One of the head nurses, an aide, a supervisor and I staffed the hospital. As soon as the aide had finished getting Bobby dressed, I went in to see him, gave him his meds and then presented him with a candy cane.
“Thank you for the Christmas present!” The expression of delight lit up his round face.
I was sad to see that he had no packages to unwrap, so I decided that my real gift would have to be my undivided attention. Our Massachusetts state hospital near Boston served patients whose parents could afford only the basics. Expensive gifts from the staff were strictly forbidden to avoid embarrassing comparisons."