Mothers Day is just around the corner and what better way to honor my mother than to write about her. I’ve posted many essays about my mother over the past years. You can read about a few of them here, here, and most recently here. It’s been seven years since she passed away and I still find myself reaching for the phone to call her to ask a question, or relate some good news.
Today is Nurse’s Day as I write this so she’s been on my mind. I feel she was one of the best RN’s around. When I was just starting high school she took the position of ‘Director of Professional Home Health’, the first home health service in the small town we lived in. She lived and breathed her duty as a nurse and held her staff to high expectations. Often she would take call on the weekends so her nurses could stay home with their families. I believe this was also so she could keep her feet wet in the nursing profession because during normal business hours she was kept busy with paperwork. She didn’t want to miss out on the advancements in health care.
On the weekends, as we grew older, Mother would also work the night shifts at the emergency room at the local hospital to stay up-to-date, and I’m sure that extra income with the five children my parents had to raise was a plus. She wasn’t lazy, that’s for sure!
Because of the closeness in our ages (eleven months apart) there were three of us driving at one time when we were stair-steps in high school. I was the youngest so I usually got the short end of the stick when it came time to split hairs over whose turn it was to get Mother’s car for the evenings. If Mother was on call for work that weekend, we all lost out. There were no cell phones to stay in touch if she needed her car to make an emergency check on a patient. We were probably the only girls who drove around town with catheters and extra bed pads in the back seat.
I remember riding often with her on those late night calls and hanging on for dear life as she took the hairpin curves, sometimes on two wheels it seemed, on those dark back roads of the rural communities her patients usually lived in. We would weave back and forth on the gravel roads and dodge wildlife darting across our path. She knew where she was going, but I didn’t, and it was dark. It was scary! It’s a wonder we never landed in a ditch. She was fearless when it came to venturing off into the night by herself. I give her lots of credit for that.
I’m not sure if she was born with that fearlessness or if she acquired a sixth sense when she had to stay on the homestead in Alaska with four, then five children, for sometimes two weeks at a time while Daddy was off at work. She did what she had to do to keep us happy, and healthy… Always.
“Happy Nurses Day and Happy Mother’s Day to my mother.”