Touched by Angels of Mercy contains small doses of genuine life, from nurses, patients and caregivers, that touch the heart and foster healing. This collection of short stories and poems, interspersed with tasteful cartoons, contains helpful resource information, as well as a brief biography of each contributing author. Many of the works in this collection offer a glimpse into the nurse-patient relationship, as seen through the eyes of the patient, nurse or family member. Some of the stories reveal caregiving scenarios taken from brief moments in history, behind prison walls or even on a golf course. Anyone may be labeled an "Angel of Mercy." This term is not exclusive to nurses. Our world needs the healing "angels" who come to us in a variety of forms, when and where we least expect them. At some time in our lives, each one of us will encounter illness, pain and death. Along with it will come the need for a helping hand and the gentle, caring touch of an "angel of mercy." Everyone has the ability to be courageous, tenacious and loving. When people are hurting, whether from illness, injury or other reasons, they have the instinctive need to be touched and nurtured. People also have the need and desire to share their experiences with others. This process of sharing is frequently healthful and therapeutic. The strength, knowledge and inspiration that comes from recounting personal life and death experiences with one another stimulates healing. The profession of nursing deals with the prevention of illness, as well as the care and rehabilitation of the sick. Although it takes a special person to answer this "calling," todays nurses are vastly different from those of yesteryear. The changing world of healthcare has created unique challenges and added pressures for nursing, but it has also created new frontiers. In addition, there is a growing number of caregivers in our society. Caregivers often feel isolated, apprehensive, exhausted and overwhelmed. They desperately need relief as well as ongoing support. Nurses and caregivers reach out and become "angels" for others. They are compassionate, intelligent and caring beings that provide hands-on care to help the sick to heal, or comfort them as they die. Nurses and caregivers are not invincible; they also need to take care of themselves. The need to be touched by another, and to share personal experiences, are universal human requirements. The strength, knowledge and inspiration that comes from recounting personal life and death experiences fosters healing. Wounds heal from the inside out--so does the heart and soul. Writing these stories has been a therapeutic experience for our authors, and for some, an extremely difficult task. It is our hope that by reading and sharing these real-life, personal experiences, you too will be touched, inspired and healed.