Hair stylist Ashley Bolling called it one of those “stop-you-in-your-tracks” moments.
Last week one of her clients, a nurse, came in for a lengthy cut-and-color session at Captivate Salon & Spa in Whitesburg, Ky.
The nurse had been working all night and hadn’t been home to bed. Yet she stopped on her way to buy breakfast for Bolling.
Bolling got her client a chair to rest her feet on. Then, feet propped up, the nurse fell asleep in Bolling’s chair during the four-hour procedure. And that’s when Bolling looked at the nurse’s tennis shoes.
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“I wondered how many miles those shoes have walked,” Bolling wrote on her Facebook page later.
“I wondered what they’d walked through. Blood? Tears? In & out of the countless rooms of the patient’s (sic) she’s cared for? I wondered how many hours they’ve carried her, and all those like her, while they literally save the lives of those we love and hold the hands of the ones who can no longer fight that fight.”
Her tender thoughts have touched a nerve, moving more than 20,000 people to like and love her Facebook entry. It’s been shared nearly 6,800 times.
“There aren’t too many people that really understand what being a nurse means. This is beautiful!,” commented one woman, a nurse. “I had to replace my shoes every 6 months because they were so worn out. I never would have thought of them this way. Thank you.”
Bolling knows how hard her client works. “She actually took care of my grandmother in the nursing home very early in her career,” she told The Kansas City Star.
Now, the tables were turned.
“But with those shoes propped up in that chair, phone in her lap, I got the chance to take care of her (even if it was just for a few hours) and I felt extremely honored to take care of such a hard working, inspiring woman I’m so lucky to call my friend,” she wrote in her essay.
“I’ve always respected and valued these amazing super-heroes and am proud to be the sister, daughter, niece, friend and hairstylist of so many. Know you are appreciated, know you are irreplaceable, know you are loved!”
Bolling’s essay has popped up on several websites that spotlight feel-good stories, including LittleThings.com. Nurses are sharing it with one another. People are sending it to nurses they know to say thanks.
But most people don’t know the rest of the story.
About those shoes ...
The nurse’s husband stopped by the salon before Bolling was done with her hair. Their daughter had forgotten her shoes for track practice after school.
So what did the nurse do?
“She literally took (her shoes) off her feet and sent them to her daughter,” Bolling said. “She left in her socks, she’s that wonderful a person.”