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I’m happy to present a recent Amazon review of Caring Lessons: A Nursing Professor’s Journey of Faith and Self  by Mary A. Osborne, nurse and author of Nonna’s Book of Fiction,  titled A Purpose Driven Life:

It is an act of bravery to reveal one’s life story in detail, to express one’s struggles and fears publicly. Done skillfully, memoirs tell the truth while transforming an ordinary life into an inspiring narrative. Lois Roelofs Ph.D. worked an R.N. in various capacities–from staff nurse, to nurse researcher, to nursing professor–before she decided to share her journey in Caring Lessons: A Nursing Professor’s Journey of Faith and Self. The book is a thoughtful and authentic chronicle of the author’s life from her nursing student days through her early retirement.

As an RN myself, I could easily relate to Roelofs’ story, written with candor and humor, and her ongoing quest to find the nursing position which best suited her unique talents. She writes with honesty about an episode of depression which she suffered during the early years of her marriage in the 1970’s. Feeling overwhelmed with the demands of caring for her two small children and dissatisfied with having set aside her own ambitions, she reached a breaking point.

In Caring Lessons, Roelofs expresses what other married women might feel but are perhaps not willing to speak aloud. Though forty years have passed since the author took a personal time-out, it is still risky for a woman who has a caring husband, beautiful children, and a nice house to admit she’s feeling hemmed in. Women who are lucky enough to have all the material blessings in life are supposed to be content and grateful. Roelofs’ story reminds women that it is all right to feel discontent and encourages them to continue the journey in search of personal fulfillment despite the inevitable obstacles that are encountered.

Author Lois Roelofs

Author Lois Roelofs (Photo credit: Lansing Public Library, Lansing Illinois)

After reading about her episode of depression, it was not surprising to me when Roelofs later described her decision to specialize in psychiatric nursing. The best healers are often those who have journeyed through their own pain and learned to find true compassion for others. I would describe Lois Roelofs’ nursing career not as a profession, but as a vocation. With tireless dedication driven both by intellectual curiosity and the desire to follow the ideals of her Christian faith, the author has lived a truly purpose-driven life. There are many who admire nurses and the work they do. Caring Lessons is a wonderful reminder of why many of those who enter the profession become earthly angels.

Caring Lessons is an inspiring read for nurses and those who aspire to the field, as well as those who are curious about the behind the scenes lives of nurses and nursing educators.

Thanks, Mary, for your insightful and beautifully written review! It was great meeting you serendipitously at AWP last fall. And, readers, you will enjoy learning about Mary’s Nonna’s Book of Mysteries here.

Coming next Monday: Caregivers Write Your Stories (#4)