It’s Never Too Late

by Stephen on March 3, 2014 · 39 comments

in Inspirational Stories

It was an unusually busy day for the hospital staff on the sixth floor. Ten new patients were admitted and Nurse Susan spent the morning and afternoon checking them in.

Her friend Sharron, an aide, prepared ten rooms for the patients and made sure they were comfortable. After they were finished she grabbed Sharron and said, “We deserve a break. Let’s go eat.”

Sitting across from each other in the noisy cafeteria, Susan noticed Sharron absently wiping the moisture off the outside of her glass with her thumbs. Her face reflected a weariness that came from more than just a busy day.

“You’re pretty quiet. Are you tired, or is something wrong?” – Susan asked.

Sharron hesitated. However, seeing the sincere concern in her friend’s face, she confessed, “I can’t do this the rest of my life, Susan. I have to find a higher-paying job to provide for my family. We barely get by. If it weren’t for my parents keeping my kids, well, we wouldn’t make it.”

Susan noticed the bruises on Sharron’s wrists peeking out from under her jacket.

“What about your husband?”

“We can’t count on him. He can’t seem to hold a job. He’s got . . . problems.”

“Sharron, you’re so good with patients, and you love working here. Why don’t you go to school and become a nurse? There’s financial help available, and I’m sure your parents would agree to keep the kids while you are in class.”

“It’s too late for me, Susan; I’m too old for school. I’ve always wanted to be a nurse, that’s why I took this job as an aide; at least I get to care for patients.”

“How old are you?” – Susan asked.

“Let’s just say I’m thirty-something.”

Susan pointed at the bruises on Sharron’s wrists. “I’m familiar with ‘problems’ like these. Honey, it’s never too late to become what you’ve dreamed of. Let me tell you how I know.”

Susan began sharing a part of her life few knew about. It was something she normally didn’t talk about, only when it helped someone else.

“I first married when I was thirteen years old and in the eighth grade.”

Sharron gasped.

“My husband was twenty-two. I had no idea he was violently abusive. We were married six years and I had three sons. One night my husband beat me so savagely he knocked out all my front teeth. I grabbed the boys and left.

“At the divorce settlement, the judge gave our sons to my husband because I was only nineteen and he felt I couldn’t provide for them. The shock of him taking my babies left me gasping for air. To make things worse, my ex took the boys and moved, cutting all contact I had with them.

“Just like the judge predicted, I struggled to make ends meet. I found work as a waitress, working for tips only. Many days my meals consisted of milk and crackers. The most difficult thing was the emptiness in my soul. I lived in a tiny one-room apartment and the loneliness would overwhelm me. I longed to play with my babies and hear them laugh.”

She paused. Even after four decades, the memory was still painful. Sharron’s eyes filled with tears as she reached out to comfort Susan. Now it didn’t matter if the bruises showed.

Susan continued, “I soon discovered that waitresses with grim faces didn’t get tips, so I hid behind a smiling mask and pressed on. I remarried and had a daughter. She became my reason for living, until she went to college.

“Then I was back where I started, not knowing what to do with myself – until the day my mother had surgery. I watched the nurses care for her and thought: I can do that. The problem was, I only had an eighth-grade education. Going back to high school seemed like a huge mountain to conquer. I decided to take small steps toward my goal. The first step was to get my GED. My daughter used to laugh at how our roles reversed. Now I was burning the midnight oil and asking her questions.”

Susan paused and looked directly in Sharron’s eyes. “I received my diploma when I was forty-six years old.”

Tears streamed down Sharron’s cheeks. Here was someone offering the key that might unlock the door in her dark life.

“The next step was to enroll in nursing school. For two long years I studied, cried and tried to quit. But my family wouldn’t let me. I remember calling my daughter and yelling, ‘Do you realize how many bones are in the human body, and I have to know them all! I can’t do this, I’m forty-six years old!’ But I did. Sharron, I can’t tell you how wonderful it felt when I received my cap and pin.”

Sharron’s lunch was cold, and the ice had melted in her tea by the time Susan finished talking. Reaching across the table and taking Sharron’s hands, Susan said, “You don’t have to put up with abuse. Don’t be a victim – take charge. You will be an excellent nurse. We will climb this mountain together.”

Sharron wiped her mascara-stained face with her napkin. “I had no idea you suffered so much pain. You seem like someone who has always had it together.”

“I guess I’ve developed an appreciation for the hardships of my life,” Susan answered. “If I use them to help others, then I really haven’t lost a thing. Sharron, promise me that you will go to school and become a nurse. Then help others by sharing your experiences.”

Sharron promised. In a few years she became a registered nurse and worked alongside her friend until Susan retired. Sharron never forgot her colleague or the rest of her promise.

Now Sharron sits across the table taking the hands of those who are bruised in body and soul, telling them, “It’s never too late. We will climb this mountain together.”

By Linda Carol Apple
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living Your Dreams

If you find this story useful, please share with a friend!

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Manjunath s March 3, 2014 at 1:11 pm

The story is great. I love that statement, we will claim the mountain together.

2 Mayank March 3, 2014 at 1:31 pm

It’s never late in life. We have to start our day with a new step everyday because that new day belongs to us and we will certainly win it.

3 Madhuraja March 3, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Very nice inspirational story thank you for sharing…..

4 Sarah March 3, 2014 at 5:03 pm

I loooooooooooove it!!! We will, together.

5 Sangeeta March 3, 2014 at 10:56 pm

Very inspiring. Will share with my team to motivate them. I always do. Thank u. Plz send atleast one new story in a week.

6 Prasurjya March 3, 2014 at 11:06 pm

Nice… very nice indeed… inspiration really works for one who is seriously down n suffering.. God Bless..

7 Kauser March 4, 2014 at 1:00 am

Very nice and emotional too. Inspiring…

8 Bhawna March 4, 2014 at 2:46 am

Beautiful story!! We all need to know our strengths in us.. they are in all of us.. thank u so much for sharing!!

9 Sibusiso March 4, 2014 at 4:08 am

Wow.. we are never to old to change our lives, reach for our dreams, take ownership get that education after all time flies….

10 Krunal March 4, 2014 at 5:47 am

Really inspirational.. It’s never too late to start and to begin.

11 Rajan munda March 5, 2014 at 2:03 am

Too much helpful in motivating me.

12 Ben roko March 5, 2014 at 5:18 am

Love the story, exactly what I needed. Thanks.

13 Varalakshmi March 5, 2014 at 5:47 am

Wonderful, it is never too late. Thanks.

14 Sumi March 6, 2014 at 3:26 am

Very nice & motivational story.. good job.

15 Trust March 6, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Very inspiring

16 Divya March 7, 2014 at 12:54 am

Very inspiring… I never loose hope by reading these stories on your site… Thank you very much for always keeping me so much motivated and energetic…

17 Anjali March 7, 2014 at 2:25 am

Truly inspirational especially for people who think that its already late to begin…

18 Nana appiah March 9, 2014 at 4:24 am

Truly beautiful and inspiring

19 Sagar March 10, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Incredible episode of life share with epitome of inspiration. Thanks a lot. I make wonder to many life.

20 Rita March 12, 2014 at 7:57 pm

Thanks Steve it is a very good story may the ones that falls into being victims have courage and pray for survival and have someone to help them.

Have faith in God he will always get us back in the right path i have been a victim of emotional abuse.

21 R.Shivaram March 20, 2014 at 8:14 am

Nice Story Starvation to Star

22 Newman March 22, 2014 at 6:24 am

Truly inspirational. It’s a way we can overcome our fears & focus on our strength & our goal. Don’t be afraid to take the first step.

23 Vietkieusa March 24, 2014 at 10:18 pm

This is a story that some people with a negative attitude may say “this is only a story, fictitious or not who can say yes or no”, in other words with a negative attitude someone may doubt about such thing can happen. Let me share with whoever is reading this comment the real story of my life to help you say with conviction “To be successful or not to be successful to start a new life doesn’t depend on your age, but only on your willingness”. I was a captain in the South Vietnamese army before 1975, incarcerated after the war in Vietnamese Communist Concentration camps for close to eight years, escaped from Vietnam by boat up to 13 times before I succeded finally to reach the U.S. when I was already 44. I went back to college from scratch as a full-time student while working full-time and graduated with a BS Degree with double majors in Computer Information System and Business administration after 4 years, and of course kept working, and earning a decent salary, until I recently retired.

24 Leah May 29, 2014 at 7:08 am

It is true, never too late for someone to be blessed…

25 Reianna June 19, 2014 at 9:37 pm

Love the story. People might be laughing at you and saying that you are too old to go to Uni but it doesn’t matter. if you die, Education is still present so no matter how old you are, you can do it.

26 Savita July 4, 2014 at 6:08 am

Very good inspired me

27 Karimoon shaik July 10, 2014 at 8:00 am

This story has inspired me

28 Jagan July 19, 2014 at 3:16 am

Really gave inspiration… I love it…

29 Ruth jen eucogco July 26, 2014 at 4:11 am

Everyday is a new beginning. it means everyday is a blessing. So if you are going to start your life today,why not? Our age will never matter only our willingness to go on and start a new life in a way we choose to be.

30 Ruth jen Eucogco July 27, 2014 at 12:42 am

Very inspiring indeed.

31 Sandeep August 9, 2014 at 12:58 am

Very nice story. I love it.

32 Umesh August 22, 2014 at 5:44 am

Wow great story ….. I think we all have huge strength. We should not take back step due to any problem that encountering in our life because we got life once we must enjoy it ……

33 Nikesh September 18, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Touching

34 Ankit sharma February 1, 2015 at 12:52 pm

Nice story. ..re-enenergising lives

35 Srikant February 8, 2015 at 2:10 pm

It Is Never Too Late. We Will Climb Again Is The Motivation Words Of The Story

36 Asra Anjum March 28, 2015 at 3:18 pm

This story gives lot of enery and full motivation to readers. Thank u author for sharing such a good stories for us.
God bless u.

37 Winston March 31, 2016 at 7:01 am

WOW! What VERY touching story!

38 Rosa December 10, 2016 at 2:15 pm

It is an inspiring story.

39 Fridah Magaba August 31, 2017 at 3:58 am

While!! everyone has a beautiful story to tell…So inspiring and motivational. I really have been strengthened. If they were in these shoes that i am in today, and successfully got out of them. Then i too can! Please keep writing. I truly appreciate!

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