Do you want to know a secret? I’m addicted to shopping, but I don’t shop at just any store, I shop at Target. You know, the store with big red target logo and the catchy TV ads. Shopping makes me feel better when I’m feeling blue, and since I’ve been feeling rotten for the last couple of days, I hopped into my car yesterday and drove to Target to get some needed therapy.

Wandering the aisles looking at all the great merchandise usually cheers me up, but not even trying on new clothes lifted my mood, so in utter defeat, I left the store after purchasing a bottle of laundry detergent and a container of kitty litter. I never said that I was a big spender, all I said was that I like to shop. As I left the store and started walking towards my car, a young teenage girl walked towards me and began to speak. She looked familiar, but couldn’t place a name to her face, nor could I make out what she was saying because she was looking down the ground as she was speaking to me. She stuttered and waited to see if I was going to respond to her before she came closer. Then she said the words that I dread hearing. She asked, “Do you remember me? I was one of your patients.”

It’s not that I don’t like seeing my patients, it’s just that I have a bad memory for names, and I don’t like hurting people’s feelings. The youngster must have read my mind because she gave me a little smile and reminded me of her name. She became more comfortable as we chatted about her new boyfriend and her school activities, but I got the sense that she was working up the courage to tell me something important. She finally took a deep breath and told me what was really on her mind. She told me that she plans to go to nursing school someday because of me. I felt my jaw drop, and after a few seconds of stunned silence, I asked her why. She said that I had been her favorite nurse because I’m a little nutty, and because I listened to her when she talked about her feelings. She said that I made a difference in her life. Then the girl’s mother walked out of the store and they went on their way.

My mood lifted as I tossed the kitty litter and detergent in the back of my car. It’s nice to know that you really can make the difference in someone’s life. There are days when every nurse needs a little Target therapy.