ER Love Stories


As a nurse, I get personal with people real fast. At times, I can be a self-proclaimed personal invader. I have countless stories ranging from walking into family arguments to calling parents to inform them their drunk underage teen needs to be picked up. With all the drama involved with being an ER nurse, sometimes I get the pleasure of hearing peoples life stories. Stories are part of the human connection. Many people like to share their life stories and find a deep sense of pride in sharing their accomplishments, especially some of my older patients.

One day, a frail, elderly Japanese woman come into the hospital complaining of dizziness. As I was doing her assessment I realized she was in her mid-nineties. She laughed while telling me that she was in nearly perfect health minus a couple aches and pains she curbed by doing her aerobic exercises every morning. Soon after my initial examination, her husband – also in his mid-90s – rushed in to her side. He kissed her on the forehead and handed me a list of medications she was currently taking.

With a big smile the husband proudly told me they had been married for nearly seventy-one years. They met while he was delivering mail to the salon where she was working. He told me that he fell in love with the “pretty girl” who sat at the front desk. He said he always made sure her salon was his last stop so he could stay longer without delaying the rest of his deliveries. They were married a month later. She smiled as he recalled the story.

I asked what helped their marriage survive their many years together. He looked at his wife lying on the stretcher before his eyes drifted to me.

“Time,” he said firmly. “I always made time for her and I never forgot that she was the one.”

I often ask myself the question of time – how long you need to know someone before you truly know that they are the “one”? Is there even such a thing as the “one”?

Society dictates how you’re supposed to feel when you are in love. Many people go on this search their entire lives, through countless relationships, looking for someone who ignites some sort of feeling within them. Now, don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe that there needs to be some sort of chemistry between people. But, I am slowly starting to realize that part of this search involves having a certain amount of practicality.

Most of us like to compare our experiences with others. We set a bench marker for ourselves but in the end the only person we are truly hurting is ourselves. Everyone experiences love differently and no two scenarios are ever the same. As a Muslim woman on the search for a husband I want to define my own experiences with love, rather than movies, commercials and reality shows telling me how and when I need to feel love. A successful marriage is a mix between love and common sense.

There are stories, lessons and signs all around us. Understanding the wisdom behind encounters can leave a profound impact on your view of the world, even if they take place in a busy ER.

Ihssan Tahir is a twenty something self-proclaimed “SistaQueen” living in Chicago. She is a registered nurse and specializes in emergency and trauma medicine. In her spare time she enjoys writing and practicing the violin. You can follow her candid blog about her husband hunting endeavors and relationship tidbits at

6 Comments on “ER Love Stories”

  1. Alan Howard says:

    Ihssan, as always a great article. I believe I too found that person for a brief period of my life. I made the time to be with her. I loved her. I nursed her through her long illness and then I lost her. I am finding it exceedingly difficult to start over…..or maybe I should say I am finding that my situation makes it difficult for others to want to be with me. Still I have a second life to start, I have to move forward.

  2. Alan Howard says:

    Reblogged this on Get Busy with Life and commented:
    Ihssan’s articles are always interesting and full of life. I will reblog as often as I can.

  3. sisterm says:

    Sister Ihssan,

    I love your essays and I am always looking forward to reading the next one.