The Unforgettable Night

Thursday, I went to work just like any other day. Got up bright and early, got ready, grabbed some milk, and headed out the door for what I thought was going to be just like any other day. After getting into the ICU, I realized I had some fairly easy patients. It was going to be a good day, I could tell. I had a good attitude and went about my morning routine. Vital signs, assessments, medications, and baths. As the day progressed, I realized my assumption of having a good day was suddenly going down hill. It was hard to judge wether or not one of my patients was being sarcastic, whether or not he enjoyed me as his nurse, or whether or not he just wished I would die. It was a bit challenging and I took it to heart. I tried to think of anything I could do to make his stay a little better despite the situation he was in. After talking with him and trying to know more about his life, I find out he lives in Springville. Finally, we have something in common (I used to live in Springville as a little girl). We get talking and he starts opening up to me a little bit. The day seems to be going a little better…..

By the end of the day, my charge nurse realizes she is three nurses short for the evening shift and desperately needs to find a nurse to work. Colby and the boys were camping and so I decided to volunteer to stay until midnight to help out the unit. Everyone thinks I’m crazy, but I decide to do it anyway. Besides, who doesn’t like a little extra money an hour?

I broke the news to my patient that I was going to be staying an extra six hours that night and once again, I couldn’t tell if he was excited, or ready to kill himself this time. One minute he would tell me what an amazing nurse I am and then the next minute he would be yelling and telling me everything he hated about the hospital. He pulled at my emotions a little bit and I realized what a dumb decision I had just made by offering to stay. It was going to be a very long 18 hour shift.


I called my Dad and asked if he thought Grandpa Ralph would let me stay at his house after my shift was over. He immediately told me Grandpa would love to have me come. I walked into the break room and called Grandpa. After explaining my situation, I told him I only needed a blanket and a couch to crash on for a few hours so I could get enough rest to drive home. With a cheerful tone to his voice he says, “I’ll leave all the lights on and the front door open. I should be up watching T.V. on the couch.” I told him “Thanks” and then he said, “Love you Natalie.” I tried to hold back the tears and emotion that overwhelmed me as I said, “Love you too Grandpa.” I hung up the phone and started to cry. My charge nurse was sitting next to me and could tell I was having a rough day. I braced the last few hours knowing that soon I would be resting at my Grandpa’s house.

My friend at work bought me Cafe Rio for dinner and the rest of the shift went fairly well. My patients fell asleep fairly quickly and I was able to enjoy most of the night. I gave report to my charge nurse at 11:30 p.m. and clocked out.


I arrive at my Grandpa’s house and sure enough, almost every single light is on in the house. I walk to the front door and let myself in. My Grandpa was standing at the top of his stairs as he invites me in. He explained he was just finishing up some laundry. Grandpa gave me a hug and says, “There is a new toothbrush and some toothpaste on the bathroom counter, the bed is turned down ready for you to sleep in, and I put some milk and cookies on the bedside table.” I thanked him graciously and he finishes by saying, “Grandma always said grandkids like milk and cookies before bed.”

Again, holding back the emotion I walked into my bedroom and closed the door. I put my purse on the bed and sat in the rocking chair next to the bed. I looked at the cookies and the floods came. I had been holding back a lot of emotion that for some reason or another overwhelmed me that day. Those cookies and milk reminded me of my Grandma and how much I missed her. Those cookies showed true love of a Grandpa who was so incredibly thoughtful. Those cookies meant home. Those cookies represented comfort and a sense of belonging. Needles to say, those cookies meant more to me than I think my Grandpa realizes.

I quietly walked out of the room (in hopes my Grandpa wouldn’t see my tears), brushed my teeth, and went back into my room. I laid in bed and thought of all the good times I remember with my Grandma and Grandpa. There were many. The quilts on my bed were an exact representation of my Grandma and the stained glass ceiling light was a representation of one of Grandpa’s amazing talents. I knelt at my bedside and prayed thanking Heavenly Father for such a wonderful family, especially my Grandparents. I expressed how grateful I was to be able to spend some time with Grandpa and enjoy some sweet moments with him. I prayed that Grandma Deon would know of my love for her and know I think of her often.

It takes me a while to fall asleep, but eventually I drift off.


I awake the next morning and walk downstairs. Grandpa is reading at the kitchen table with Mirella the cat sitting right next to him. After offering to make me eggs and a nice breakfast I politely decline and explain brown sugar and oatmeal will do just fine (I saw a box in his cupboard). He kindly makes me some oatmeal and we sit around the kitchen table. Mirella sits on the table next to me as well. Grandpa and I talked for a minute about plants and trees, his yard, and how to grow an amazing garden. I jot down some tips. Grandpa decides on what kind of tree he would like to plant in my yard (more on that later). We discuss canning and find a recipe for canning applesauce.

It’s now almost time for him to go to lunch with his “Friday Lunch Friend.” I gather my things, make the bed, thank him for everything, and say goodbye.


I pulled out of my Grandpa’s driveway that morning with the best feeling in the world. I don’t think I have ever felt so overwhelmed with love in my life! I left that morning knowing my Grandpa loved me and I knew how much I loved him. I was so incredibly grateful I agreed to stay an extra six hours. It was a night I will never forget. I am not sure if my Grandpa could tell how much love I felt from him, but hopefully he knows I love and care for him so much! This will forever go down as one of the most memorable sleepovers of my life!  I hope to be able to spend the night at his home more often if he will allow. These are the moments I will remember forever!

Carly - October 23, 2012 - 6:29 am

Awwww, I love this so much. Thank you for taking the time to write this. I was talking to my dad tonight and told him I missed Gramps and needed to go visit. He made Lucy and me breakfast this past summer and it was a similar experience. It’s amazing how special a grandpa can make you feel. I wanted to go to FHE tonight and watch the Giants but as usual, I worked too late and got caught up in the wrinkles of the day. This story is so perfect and I needed it tonight. Thanks :)

Joely Nelson - October 23, 2012 - 1:27 pm

Thanks for sharing Nat. While tears filled my eyes while reading, I was also reminded of my grandparents and all of those good times. As life has turned us into wives, mothers, homemakers, its nice to be spoiled and loved, taken care of. What a beautiful moment in time that you will treasure forever. How wonderful that you will someday be able to continue this new tradition with your own grandchild. <3

Ash - October 23, 2012 - 3:05 pm

Aww that is soo sweet!! I felt all the love you have for him and couldn’t hold back the tears!!! You are such a sweet person Nat! I have looked up to you since I met you. You are a very cheerful person, and fun to be around! :) hope you have a great day.

Amber - October 23, 2012 - 3:14 pm

Aww! What a sweet grandpa you have! I teared up a few times reading this. Family is so important, and it is wonderful to have people in our lives that love and support us! Thanks for sharing. :)

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