As nurses in these very busy times, we so often feel we just don’t have the quality time to listen to our patients, but on a very hectic day, I did just that, and I am glad I did or I would have missed this wonderful gift of a story to share with my colleagues.

I was caring for a delightful lady in her 80s, who had just received news that she had a life-altering illness that needed to be treated aggressively, or it would most likely give her only months to live. She had leathery, tanned skin and wrinkles that gave her face the character of a life outdoors in the sun. She had lived all her life on a ranch and said this was the first year she had missed the branding of the calves.

She told me that 2 years earlier, her spouse had been diagnosed with...

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