Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital Pediatric Registered Nurse Maureen Rooney has written a new book titled, A Child’s Nightcap.
The memoir follows Rooney’s story of working as a travelling nurse, working in prisons, and in remote locations up north. The memoir is a story of survival, forgiveness, and hope, she says.
“It’s a memoir of my life and a little bit about my traumatic childhood,” Rooney said.
The book highlights Rooney’s four decades of working as a nurse, from the time she started working in California in her 20’s, to the current day where she has been working in Orillia during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 55-year-old Rooney says she has been working on the book for 25 years.
“I’ve always been kind of a storyteller since I was young, and everyone who I’ve told my stories to has said I should write a book, so I started to save all my stories from when something happened, and next thing you knew, I had a book,” she explained.
The title of the book references Rooney’s childhood memories of dealing with her father who was a severe alcoholic. Rooney recalls crushing up sleeping tablets at a young age and then slipping them into her father’s drink in order to allow her whole family to get some rest.
“It was a little bit challenging reflecting on memories that are painful, but it was healing as well to put it down on paper and get it out,” Rooney said.
“I’m hoping that my book will help people who are struggling with similar things that I've had to overcome," she explained. "I know a lot of people go through some of the same struggles and don’t know if they can make it through, and I just want to show that there is hope, and you can survive.”
Rooney says writing her book helped her heal from her traumatic childhood experiences. It also helped her reflect on what made her the person she is today.
“It’s a book that is about resilience, hope, and forgiveness, forgiving my dad and moving on, and taking the strength and the gifts he gave me to go on in my life knowing what it’s like to not be treated well as a child,” Rooney said.
“I’ve tried to treat every child the exact opposite way that I was treated, and through that, I pursued a career in taking care of kids when they are at the time of their worst.”
Rooney, a Hamilton native, believes that fellow nurses will enjoy her book, as well as people who have had challenges in life. The book will also be a fun read for folks who are interested in adventures and travelling, she suggested.
“I think there is a little bit of something for everyone in this book,” Rooney said.
Rooney's book is also a way for her to acknowledge the support she has received throughout her life.
“I’ve had so much support along the way in my life, so it was nice to write that out and give some gratitude to the people who have watched over me through the years.”
The book will be released today on Amazon for a price of $24.95.