Changing Hearts Series

Hearing the Change, Book 1

The Family You Choose, Book 2

Growing the Change, Book 3

Shelby looked over at her eight-year-old as they exited the car and headed inside Queen City Rehab Center. Tiffany didn’t seem to be upset about the last-minute change in plans but unfortunately, she appeared to be growing used to the disappointment. The good thing was it didn’t seem to bother her. Her dad had canceled their weekend again just this morning. So, she had accompanied Shelby to work today. It was Saturday therefore they shouldn’t be here long.

It was a fine establishment with an excellent reputation, and Shelby was now in a position to make sure that continued. With long term care on one side and physical therapy on the other, it was a vibrant place, with a homey feel, lots of good lighting, and calm colors with pops of bright scattered around. Even living plants rather than the dusty plastic ones where Shelby had her first experience working in long-term care before she’d gone back to school for her Advanced Practice Registered Nurse degree, APRN. She could now assess patients, diagnosis conditions, and prescribe treatment. It was a long-term dream come true.

Another bonus was Tiffany was already becoming familiar with the people who lived and worked here. Shelby had completed her internship here and her new job had been secured. Queen had hired her prior to graduation. Fortunately, her paycheck had increased once she was permanent. Now she brought Tiffany over here for a couple of hours a few times a week.

A lot of these people didn’t get many visitors. Tiffany knew which ones they were and made it a special point to see and visit with them. She really seemed to brighten their days.

Even as Shelby watched, Tiffany ran ahead to greet Otis in his wheelchair, as he sunned himself on the front porch.

He greeted her like a granddaughter, giving her a big grin and a hug. She was chattering away with him, filling him in on what she’d done at camp the past week.

“Morning Miss Shelby. Sounds like Miss Tiffany here had a good week.”

“Oh, she did. Always busy. I wish I had her energy.”

“Me too,” the elderly man said and waved goodbye as they continued inside.

They greeted the receptionist, Lee was on today, then Shelby took Tiffany’s hand and led her down a hall they didn’t usually visit. The patients on this hall didn’t interact with visitors. “You remember Willa?”

“Sure. She’s Clint’s girlfriend.”

“That’s right. Well, her brother has come to stay here with us. He’s in a coma, do you remember what that is?”

Tiffany nodded. “He’s kind of asleep and can’t wake up, but he can hear us.”

“That’s right. Would you like to meet him?”


They moved on down the hall and tapped on the door. “Come in.” Willa’s voice came through the door and Shelby pushed it open.

Willa smiled up at them, putting her finger in the book she was reading to the boy in the bed to mark her place. “Hi. I didn’t expect to see you today too,” she greeted Tiffany.

“Mom works here,” Tiffany explained. “And on Saturdays I come in and say hi to everyone.”

“That’s a great idea. I’m sure the people here love seeing you.”

Tiffany grinned. “Is this your brother?”

“Yes, this is Gavin. Gavin, this is Tiffany.”

“Hi,” Tiffany said, taking his hand for a moment. “He’s young.” Shelby nodded. He was by far the youngest long-term patient here.

Willa smiled. “Yes, he’s fifteen, about ten years younger than me.”

Tiffany turned to him then. “I’m a friend of your sister’s. Her boyfriend is my Uncle Clint. When you get all rested, you should wake up and meet him.” Shelby watched her, it was almost as though he had answered her, and she was thinking about his response.

Willa smiled wistfully over at Shelby. Shelby knew that look, if only.

“Yes,” Tiffany continued, as though Gavin had spoken to her. “Clint was a Ranger, like my mom’s boyfriend, Stu. Now we all work together and hang out at Nash and Dylan’s place. They have a great pool. You’d like it.” She seemed to listen for a reply for a moment again, though Shelby knew it wouldn’t come.

“Hey, he squeezed my hand. I think he likes me.”