The 82 words etched in Craig Rufener’s silver ring are nearly microscopic but speak volumes. Craig found the Buddhist prayer of forgiveness shortly before the pandemic and at the time, he had no idea how much he’d need it. In hindsight, it’s almost like it found him.
He has turned to those words for solace countless times during 12-hour, overnight shifts as an intensive care unit nurse and supervisor at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa, AZ.
“The Things They Carry” is an ongoing series of profiles highlighting Banner Health’s frontline workers and the personal items that bring them strength and inspiration each day, as they continue to save lives and help make life better for patients. The project is inspired by a popular book about the Vietnam War, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, which humanized the story of the soldiers by focusing on unique things they carried during combat.
To view other inspiring stories from this series, check out the following:
- Among the electronic blips and boops of life-saving equipment, a cheerful chime trails down the hall of an intensive care unit. Spreading a little cheer to her team, here is Kaleena Holmes’ story.
- Piper Daulton gently pulls the necklace from her scrubs. She displays the black Hawaiian pearl with pride. Piper explains its personal importance.
- Metal bracelets rustle on Steve Stanek’s wrist as he transports hospital patients. Learn how music gets him through the day.