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The e-mail was unexpected. The subject line – “Looks like we’re having cereal for supper cuz Mom can’t stop reading this book:)” – stopped my hand on the mouse. Should I open it? The sender’s name, Amy Nagelkirk, was not familiar.

From Amy's archives - 1992

Amy identified herself as a former nursing student of mine, since married, at Trinity Christian College. I’d last seen her when her class asked me to speak at their baccalaureate chapel in 1992. Thinking about their future careers, I’d spoken on “Making a Difference.”

You may remember Amy. I featured her e-mail on this blog on 12-5-10. It can also be found under “Reviews of Caring Lessons/Readers’ Responses” at the top of this blog.

Recently, we met in person again with a very special mission. Amy has been visiting bookstores and nursing programs in the area where she lives. She’s also addressing hundreds of postcards to nursing programs across the country that suggest consideration of Caring Lessons: A Nursing Professor’s Journey of Faith and Self for adoption in bridge, capstone, or professional development courses. Her enthusiasm for the book has prompted one school to adopt it already. Another had committed earlier.

Meeting again - 2011

In addition to what my publisher, Deep River Books, does to promote my book, having Amy volunteer to help me in whatever way she can has been a huge blessing–one that has earned her the title of “publicist” in my book of friends. Another superlative example of nurses helping nurses!

She shrugs it off and says she’s just helping me in what she has dubbed as my new ministry–spreading the word about the message in Caring Lessons. Amy wants to make sure nurses and nursing students know one nurse’s story about maintaining your “me” while being a mom, returning to school again and again, caring for and about other people and yourself, and changing minds about persons living with mental illness.

So, thank you, Amy, for making a (huge) difference in my life, as well as in the lives of your patients, family, and friends!