Several years ago an old friend of ours lay dying in a hospital bed. She was 92. Her family was gathered around. I was there, too, holding her hand and talking to her. Her name was Sarah Brunetto. We called her “Mrs. B.”
At one point a little Filipina nurse came into the room. She stood off to the side and just watched us all for a bit. She didn’t say anything. She looked like she wanted to belong to the family. Everyone in the room was being very loving at the time. After a few minutes the nurse left without saying a word.
Later that night I was the last to leave Mrs. B’s room. As I stood in the hallway the little nurse reentered the room. She didn’t see me.
She fixed up the room and adjusted Mrs. B’s bedding. Then, still thinking she was alone with Mrs. B, she took Mrs. B’s hand and gave her a kiss on the forehead. Then she said very quietly, so no one else would hear, “I love you, Mrs. B.”