Friday, May 10, 2013

How Mom Became a Nurse

This sunrise is from our 2012 cruise. Momma was pregnant.

Dear Spencer,

I’m writing this at 5:30am on a Friday morning.  I’m at the kitchen table drinking coffee and eating Greek Yogurt.  I’m watching the sun trying to come up.  It’s cloudy but not a whisper of wind.  The birds are making a ruckus outside the window.  Everyone in the house is still sleeping.  I’ve always loved the sounds and feel of being up at this time of the morning, when most of the world around you still sleeps.  There is a small timeless sliver of space just before sunrise that is neither past nor future, a space that exists without baggage or expectations, purely present and ephemeral.  I remember once on vacation at the beach, when I’d slept in well past this time, your uncle Danny said something that has stuck with me over the years.  He said “you only get so many sunrises on this earth.  A man ought to get up and see a few of them.”  And so I pass this advice on to you son.  Get up and watch the sunrise whenever you get the chance.  This time was made for drinking coffee and watching the clouds.

I taught you to stick your tongue out.
You had a big day yesterday.  It’s not out of the ordinary for you to be awake by 6:00am.  Last night we attended Momma’s Pinning Ceremony at Fairmont State University where she officially became a Nursing School Graduate.  This isn’t her first degree from Fairmont State, but I wasn’t around for the last one.  The nursing school journey began several years before you were born. Last night was the culmination of years of hard work, sacrifice and no small amount of tears.  Through all the ups and downs, the stops and starts, your mother has persevered.  She has put in countless hours of study time, worked through the exhaustion of pregnancy and made class schedules work around being a new mother.  She has accepted failures and setbacks with a stoic dignity that has made her family so very proud. 

When you are old enough to truly know your mother she will be a nurse, and it will seem to you that she has always been a nurse.  Pause then to remember there was a time when she wasn’t, a time when she could have easily given up and changed directions, but she did not.  As I write to you this Friday morning I’m surrounded by several vases of flowers.  Orange roses, pink tinted daisies, purple flowers, yellow flowers, I don’t know all their names.   Soon enough their petals will wilt and their color will fade.  But the pride… the pride never fades.  The awesome sense of achievement that comes from struggling to reach a goal is something nobody can ever take from you.  There will be times in your life when it seems like the enormity of the task you’ve taken on will overwhelm you and you will want to quit.   At these times son, pause to remember that your mother was not always a nurse.

P.S. Look for your mother's nursing school pin in your collection case

Love - Dad

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