Early last summer, my father-in-law, Nicholas Watson, had been hospitalized yet again as the cancers in his body continued to weaken him.
During this 10-day hospital stay, one of his last, he was approached by a young nursing student who was conducting a survey as part of his college studies.
The young student asked dad quite a few questions, about his health, his family, life in general. Then he noticed that the 79-year-old man was tiring very quickly. So the nursing student asked if it would be OK if he returned the next day to finish the survey.
Nicholas, in his slight English accent that still remained after all these years, said, "That would be lovely."
The young student then asked if he could bring him anything. Nicholas, who was not fond of the hospital food — and made a point of mentioning it at each visit — simply said, "I would very much like an egg salad sandwich."
The next day, as promised, the young student returned to finish the survey — and to deliver an egg salad sandwich to Nicholas.
But this was no simple sandwich. It could have been purchased from the lunch counter on the main floor of the hospital or picked up at any convenience store on route. But how this little sandwich came to be made Nicholas smile every time he told the story.
This young nursing student had not known how to make an egg salad sandwich. So before he left for the hospital, he called his mother. She gave him the instructions; he followed them and created his first egg salad sandwich. For a stranger in a hospital.
Nicholas Watson: our father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, died on August 5, 2010.
I wish I could remember the nursing student’s name. But it escapes me. I want him to know that this small, but wonderful little act of kindness was truly appreciated.
And I want him to know that he’s chosen the right profession.
— Beverley Watson