Three Women


“I’ve been hit, spit on and cursed at. But I love it.”

Something out of Fifty Shades of Grey

No. It was a hospital nurse here on Cape Cod talking about her job.

During my wife’s recent hospital stay, she had a round-the-clock rotation of nurses attending to her. They all seemed to share a common trait—a work ethic that can be best described as uncommon.

One, for example, specializes in phlebotomy. She drives 53 miles each way between home and job, raises three kids—the youngest four months old—and is enrolled in an eight-year program to become a midwife.

A second nurse is mother to three daughters—whom she home-schooled—holds a black belt in karate, teaches martial arts and operates a catering business.

The third nurse is the one I quoted above in describing some of the experiences she’s had with patients in the throes of addiction. “I’ve been hit, spit on and cursed at. But I love it. Even still, I wanted to help them.”

Why do these nurses say “I love my job,” with stress on the word love? Maybe because they find personal fulfillment—and joy—in serving others.

No matter how much we read, research or discuss the reasons, the indicators consistently point to the same truth: it’s the giver who receives the gift.

Here’s poet Kahlil Gibran:

I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.

This past week was rank with nauseating news about attacks on women:

  • Two pro football players indicted for sexually assaulting a woman
  • A multi-millionaire basketball player and two of his friends sued by a woman for gang-raping her
  • The assassination of a female correspondent on live television

The most disappointing news, to me, was yesterday’s “not guilty” verdict in the case of a prep school senior accused of rape by a 15-year-old freshman.

According to The New York Times account, “The accuser, flanked by family members in the front row, broke into sobs” when the verdict was read. 

The young man’s attorney offered as defense: “He's not a saint.” The logical conclusion is that it takes a saint to respect a woman’s dignity.

So it was uplifting to meet those three Cape Cod nurses who are so driven to help others.

Picasso’s 1921 Three Women at the Spring summons up the regard I feel for these nurses. The women in the painting seem larger-than-life, displaying strong, chiseled profiles and statuesque contours.

With the spread of conformity and image-driven superficiality, the allure of an individuated woman in full possession of herself and her powers proves irresistible. Author Elizabeth Prioleau draws a compelling word image: “We were born for plenitude and inner fulfillment.”

In my next blog, “How To Stay in Business 20 Years”


Read my newest book, Fat Guy in a Fat Boat, in print or Kindle from Amazon:

Also available is my e-book, A Light from Within, about the small moments of our lives that seem commonplace until they are examined under a creative lens.

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  • Nancy Carr
    commented 2015-09-12 10:38:53 -0400
    The preppie who got off for raping a 15 year old girl is guilty because the girl is not even at the age of consent. What is wrong with our courts?
  • Patrice Curedale
    commented 2015-08-31 01:53:46 -0400
    Not to mention the attacks on our country’s greatest provider of women’s healthcare (dare I say that I love Planned Parenthood?), de-funding of other essential services benefiting women (ACA, Social Security, Head Start), the hateful circus of T…p (I refuse to repeat his name). Recommended reading: The Handmaid’s Tale (and a little Doris Lessing if you can handle it.)
  • Patrice Curedale
    followed this page 2015-08-31 01:53:17 -0400