I am writing to you to tell you about a special client of mine, whom I have had for the past 13 years. Her name is Diane. Diane has been batting cancer over the last three years and I have been doing her nails all through her ups and downs, good days and bad days it’s been a month since I have seen Diane, until today. Diane’s son called me last night to tell me she was in the hospital, hooked up to life support and was clinically brain dead.

He called not only to tell me of her condition, but also to ask me to go to the hospital and do his mother’s nails so that she would have beautiful hands for her funeral. It broke my heart to hear these words coming from her son. How could I possibly say no? So this morning, with supplies in hand and not knowing at all of what to expect, I went to the hospital. It was truly a pathetic sight for me to see Diana this way, hooked up to machines, knowing they are keeping her alive. I gained my composure and with a little help from the nurse, I set up my workspace. Once everything was organized the nurse left me to be done with Diane. As I held her hand I spoke to her and also prayed to God to help me get through this.

After about an hour she had a beautiful set of French tips along with a few very soft designs and I bid farewell to Diane, knowing this was to be the last time doing her nails I’ll be honest—it was very difficult at first, but knowing the joy I’ll give to her son when he walks in her room, holds her hand, and sees that once again his mother has beautiful nails, made this whole experience worthwhile.

Diane, you will truly be missed.--Helene McGarvah

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.