Nurse turned novelist reflects on gift of listening

Registered nurse and Stow native Kim Nottingham will share the heartbreaking story behind her first novel and the sacred interaction of listening at the Stow Presbyterian Speaker Series on Oct. 3.

As a registered nurse, Kim Nottingham has learned that simply listening to her patients often gives more comfort than the medical care she provides. One quiet night on an oncology floor, she listened to the heartbreaking and extraordinary story of a young woman struggling to survive cancer. The conversation lingered with Nottingham and eventually led her to write her first novel, The Path that Led Me Here.

The Stow native will share the poignant story behind her book and reflect on the “sacred interaction” of listening as part of the 2012-2013 speaker series at Stow Presbyterian Church, 4150 Fishcreek Road, on Wednesday, October 3 at 7:00 p.m. This event is free and open to the public, and copies of the book will be available for purchase.

The Path is a work of inspirational fiction that follows a woman devastated by the death of her son and the resulting destruction of her marriage. She decides to let cancer quietly take her away and finds comfort in her secret illness, until circumstances beyond her control and someone from her past force her to face the consequences of her choice even as she dares to ask for a second chance at happiness.

Nottingham said the book is meant to inspire others to take the time to listen to those around them, something that many people have a hard time doing. “The act of giving of oneself and really listening to someone in need can unleash a multitude of blessings on a person,” she said. “To be able to completely focus on a person and allow the world around you to fade is a gift. A quiet connection is made: eyes meet and lives touch.” 

It is a gift she has witnessed countless times in nursing.

“I have been blessed in my nursing career over and over by the patients for whom I've cared,” she said. “Many may assume that nurses are too busy to care, jaded by the demands of the profession or detached to protect themselves from the suffering they see. It is quite the contrary.”

Upcoming speakers in the series include: David Beer, assistant professor of political science at Malone University, who will speak on the influence of Christianity on the presidential elections through U.S. history (November 7); Consumer Affairs Specialist Christine Gilley, who will present ways to avoid scams and identity theft, reduce telemarketing calls, and obtain truly free credit reports (December 5); and Lincoln historian Geoff Elliott, who will speak on Lincoln’s journey to the Emancipation Proclamation for the document’s 150th anniversary (January 9).

For more information on the Stow Presbyterian Church Wednesday Night Speaker Series, call 330-688-6935 or email info@stowpres.org.

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