An Alabama husband's sweet Facebook tribute to his wife, a nurse, went viral this weekend, thanks largely to the photo caption's final 10 words: "My wife is a nurse. My wife is a hero."
Bobby Wesson, 38, told TODAY.com Tuesday that when he posted his moving message — which accompanied a picture of his wife Rayena, a 34-year-old Birmingham nurse, napping with the couple's 2-year-old son, Declan, before her shift — he was inspired by the moment.
"I have a lot of admiration for what she does," Bobby said. "She has a great passion for her responsibilities to her patients, and to her team, and to her profession. She takes it very seriously. … It took less time to [write the post] than it did to brew the coffee."
Published Nov. 7, Bobby's post noted that Rayena soon would "wake up, put on her scrubs and get ready for work." Her selflessness would be a frequent theme in Bobby's short essay.
"The tools and items she needs to perform her job will be gathered and checked meticulously — her hair and makeup will be done quickly. She will complain that she looks awful. I will disagree, emphatically, and get her a cup of coffee.
"She will sit on the couch with her legs crossed under her and try to drink it while happily playing with the toddler that's crawling all over her."
Bobby wrote that Rayena would return to caring for people beyond his own home, people who are "having the worst day of their entire lives."
"Car wrecks, gunshot wounds, explosions, burns and breaks — professionals, poor, pastors, addicts and prostitutes — mothers, fathers, sons, daughters and families — it doesn't matter who you are or what happened to you," he wrote. "She will take care of you."
That kind of day, while admirable, can take its toll on caregivers, who are still human after all.
"She will come home 14 hours later and remove shoes that have walked through blood, bile, tears and fire from aching feet and leave them outside," Bobby wrote.
"Sometimes she will not want to talk about it. Sometimes she can't wait to talk about it. Sometimes she will laugh until she cries and sometimes she will just cry — but regardless of those sometimes she will be on time for her next shift."
The post, which had collected more than 158,000 Facebook shares, 676,000 likes and inspired nearly 40,000 comments as of early Monday evening, underwent several edits since Wesson's initial Nov. 7 post, which originally concluded with, "My wife is a trauma nurse. My wife is a hero."
As of Monday evening, the most recent rewrite had deleted the word "trauma," which, Bobby told TODAY.com, was a conscious decision.
"The post was getting a lot of attention, and Rayena isn't the kind of person who wants the spotlight on her," Bobby said.
"She's not really comfortable with those types of accolades, so I changed it to nurse so it wouldn't be specific to Rayena. She was like, 'There are a lot of nurses who do a lot harder job than I do, [including] nurses who work with babies and children.'"
And while many supporters of nurses would agree that they're heroic, Rayena "cringes" at the word, he told TODAY.com.
"She's quick to give it up to her team. She's a small part of a large team and everybody works hard."
In a follow-up Facebook post on Nov. 13, Bobby, who is a marketing strategist, thanked people for their positive feedback.
"My wife and I have been humbled by all of the stories that nurses, medical professionals, patients, first responders and people across the globe have shared with us," he wrote. "Those of you that know my wife know that she flinches at the word hero. She doesn't miss an opportunity to say that she is a small part of a very large team — but she is a large part of my very small team and I'm proud of her."
Bobby told TODAY.com he never thought the post would go viral.
"There's a story in that [Facebook post] comments section," he added. "There are so many people, out there, whose lives have been touched by a nurse. … I wrote that post for an audience of one — my wife — and I did not have an inclination that it would resonate widely. It turns out that there are millions of people out there who love a nurse. I'm just one of them."
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