1. Gould, Kathleen Ahern RN, PhD

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The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.


-Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting


As you read this, the sun will be high and the days will be long. July offers us the gift of longer days and easy living. My hope for you is that you take this time to recharge; feel the warmth of the sun each day and relax on a summer's night. Perhaps, you will gather family and friends to reconnect during a well-earned vacation or travel to a place that sustains you.

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As busy critical care nurses, it is important to care for yourselves and renew the compassion and strength you share with patients. Summer, vacation time for many of us, allows and encourages this. There are many ways for you to recharge, sharpen your saw, or simply unwind. The ways in which we do that are very individualized and varied; some find that leaving the country and touring for days fuel their mind and soul. Others sit quietly on the porch, in the yard, or at a beach[horizontal ellipsis]a good book, family, and friends at their side. Of course, others will take this time to renew a self-improvement pledge or learn a new skill. This may be Advanced Cardiac Life Support, or windsurfing[horizontal ellipsis]the beauty of summer is that the choice is yours!


The cadence of a summer day has been described in many ways, most often as a source of relaxation and renewal. When we see children after school vacation, we know this time allows them to grow in so many ways. September always brings taller, wiser children, as if the sun transformed them.


Allow yourself to have this gift; feel the sun and fuel your mind and soul with something that allows you to grow and find peace.


For me, a high tide with sunset with a moonrise simultaneously provides a setting that inspires gratitude in all things. Floating in the ocean lifts any cares or worries I may have. The water heals me, restores me, and speaks to me in ways I still cannot fully describe.


There are summer rituals that bring us energy and inspiration. Each summer, I am at home in Fenway Park, the world's most beloved ball field. It is here where I can imagine that anything is possible. Boston's loveable losers for 83 years have now captured a World Series title 3 times in my lifetime. Fenway Park is visible from the upper floors or rooftops of every hospital I have worked in this city. Even when I am at work, the glow of the lights, the iconic Cito sign aglow from Kenmore square, and the sounds of the crowds console and inspire me. In my memories, I can see my Dad helping me stuff my ponytail under a baseball cap as he slips me through the gate for father and son night. I smile to know that my daughters now march in on family day or any other day, oblivious to the fact that it was once a man's game.


For many years, my colleagues ran the first aid station under first base. I often visited, watching as they cared for a continuous stream of patients with scratches, cardiac events, heatstroke, insect bites, or perhaps advising someone with a medical question or guiding someone who had traveled a long distance to see the game, but now needed medical care. Often, Dr Mike would sign a baseball for my son or give my girls a Band-Aid adorned with little bats. He would remind the kids to wait out back after the game; to watch the players drive out of the park, always making sure the kids had the full Fenway experience.


The sign above the park once read, "Our Docs Fix Your Sox." When I bring visitors to the park, I always remind them about the little first aid station under first base, right across from the beer stand and the footlongs! Dr Mike Foley was usually on duty. He made baseball and medicine make sense. But this summer, he is watching the game from a higher perch, perhaps with Ted Williams, Dom DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky, and Mr Manning at his side!


For me, Fenway is part of summer magic. This 102-year-old ball park is a symbol of possibilities, memories, and hope. Never more poignant than this spring, as survivors of last year's Boston Marathon bombing marched across center field on opening day carrying championship rings to the team. All miracles in our midst, as Reilly and Buchanan remind us in the closing words of this issue.

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For health care providers in our city watching their patients, survivors of the bombing, that day brought hope and promise. Viewing Fenway from the intensive care unit windows at night or renewing their ACSL certification so they can work in that little first aid station under first base are rituals of summer in Boston. These things are reminders that there are patients everywhere who need us to be rested, strong, renewed.


This summer, find you fortress of solitude or seek out adventures that will sustain you. It may be your backyard, a ball field, the ocean, or a new adventure. Pick blueberries in Maine, visit the Bay of Fundy, or walk part of the Appalachia trail. Ride a merry-go-round or visit a college campus with your children; if you are, lucky you will do both on the same day! And always, eat oysters[horizontal ellipsis]. right from the ocean.


I encourage you to find your inner child as the sun rises before 5:30 AM and sets about 8:30 PM, remembering to enjoy about 30 minutes of light at daybreak, before the sun rises, and that special glow that lingers after sunset as the day ebbs away.


Often in summer, I hear my 12-year-old self saying, "this was the best day!" Give yourself that gift this summer. Feel the sun, rejoice in your talents and many gifts, and know that your patients will be the beneficiaries of the strength and compassion you renew.




it's a smile, it's a kiss, it's a sip of wine[horizontal ellipsis] it's summertime!


-Kenny Chesney


In memory of Dr Michael Foley


A physician-in-attendance at Fenway Park for almost 25 years, Dr Michael T. Foley was town doctor for the community of Red Sox fans who gather for home games. He was a physician at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.


Kathleen Ahern Gould, PhD, RN

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Adjunct Faculty


William F. Connell School of Nursing


Boston College


Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts