Tag Archives: Mothers day

On Teachers, Nurses and Mothers – My Week of Celebrations

This has been a great week of celebrations – and reflection for me. Teacher Appreciation Week. Nurses’ Week. Mother’s Day. Three jobs I have held. Three jobs I have loved.

I have to admit I wasn’t always on the Teacher Appreciation bandwagon. I thought having summers off should make up for any minor annoyances a teacher might have to endure during the course of the school year. Then I became a teacher – first at the college level, then at the public school level. My eyes were opened.

If I calculated all the unpaid hours I put in grading papers, designing websites, trying to create interesting lesson plans, looking for free resources…I would probably be making minimum wage. There is not enough funds to buy all the things my classroom needs – I buy things out of my pocket. I have students who are fixated by social media, drama and the myriad of daily minor/major catastrophes that make up high school. My analogies are that it is like herding cats or nailing jello to a tree.

I have students who don’t have food in their homes, but their parents have nice cars, fancy phones, tattoos, and fake nails. I have a student who has taken her mother to the emergency room 6 times this year because she (the mother) got drunk, fell and hurt herself. I have students who are somehow honor students who can’t do simple math. I have students who don’t want to be in the nursing program who were pushed into it by their parents and I have to get them through the year without having them puke during patient care or pass out during a blood draw…

But I have students who have a tremendous desire to not only succeed, but to excel. My heart is alternately filled with joy, and burdened with sadness for these beautiful young people. Sometimes when I am trying to corral them all at the hospital or keep them awake during a lecture by a guest speaker, I think – yes, this is hard work. Yes, this can be thankless work. But yes, this is MY work.


I haven’t always been a nurse, either. The profession has changed profoundly over the last few decades. Unsafe staffing ratios, long shifts and endless paperwork take time away from deserving patients. Your patients are not always at their best – scared, hurting, alone – and there is a fair amount of abuse toward caregivers. I personally have been called fat, old and stupid by a patient because I did not put enough ice in his soft drink. I have been choked, swung at, and even had an elderly gentlemen get me in a headlock with his legs when I tried to put a catheter in. But I have also had patients who came back to see me after their discharge and thank me personally for caring for them, and caring about them. As a nurse you can make a real difference, if only for one shift. You can calm, reassure, comfort and educate. You can encourage, support, and relieve pain. At the end of the day, I still think nursing is a good way to spend a work day.

And Mother’s Day. Being a mom – The. Best. Job. Ever. The pay may not be great – but the benefits (including grandkids) make up for that. I was lucky. My kids were good kids for the most part, and there weren’t health issues of any consequence. I made a fair number of mistakes, and had some near misses, as well. But we all got through it. My kids are grown, but my work continues to pay off.  I continue to drink wine…

So to my fellow teachers, nurses, and Moms – I hope you enjoy the celebrations. If you aren’t a teacher, nurse or mother…at least this past week you could have celebrated Cinco de Mayo (Monday) National Shrimp Day (Friday) and Liver and Onions Day (Saturday). Somehow, I think my celebrations were better.


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My Mothers’ Day Makeover

No, not that kind of makeover – I don’t need one as I have come to accept myself as I am.  My Mothers’ Day had a makeover.

See, my mom died over 30 years ago when I was a newlywed.  What should have been a joyous time in my life was overshadowed by deep depression, overwhelming sadness and feelings of loss.  Each year thereafter, from Mothers’ Day until around the middle of June (Mom died on June 8), I allowed myself to wallow in those deep and dark feelings.  This year promised to be more of the same – I am far from home, alone, and separated from my family.

I talked with two women this week who, without even knowing it, turned my way of thinking around.  One had been given away by her heroin junkie mother as an infant.  Actually, traded for money for a fix.  Fortunately for this young woman, her mother’s sister gave the junkie money in exchange for the baby and all parental rights.   Then proceded to raise the little girl as her own, providing her with a safe home, love and support.

The other woman had lost her only child in a horrific pedestrian – vs- car accident.  Four-year olds rarely win that battle.  This mother had left the youngster in the care of a babysitter who took the child for a walk.  A car ran a red light and plowed into a group of pedestrians crossing an intersection – the child was severely injured and ended up on life support, declared brain dead.  This young mother had to make the decision to discontinue mechanical life support and the little guy passed quickly and quietly in her arms.  As often happens, the parents’ marriage did not survive the loss of their child.  The woman never remarried, and never had another child.

So, THIS grown woman who had her own mother for 25 years and whose children are alive, reasonably happy and healthy, and who has been provided with glorious grandchildren – decided to make over her Mothers’ Day thinking.  Instead of wallowing, this is what I did instead:

I enjoyed coffee made with my Mothers’ Day gift to myself:

My new Keurig

I ate chocolate covered strawberries for breakfast:

Chocolate covered strawberries – A gift from my younger son and his family. Delicious.

I used these things:

Ingredients for liquid fun

To make this:


I took this girl to the ice cream shop:

Shelby is known to the ice cream shop staff – she is one of the best customers.

I used the day to do things I truly enjoy – sewing, reading, and talking with my children and grandchilden.  I watched a favorite movie (Legends of the Fall), puttered around, and spent the day reflecting on my many blessings – which include a mother who loved me for her short time on earth, and children and grandchildren who are happy, healthy and very much alive.  So even though my house was empty (except for the 4-legged child), my heart was full, and it was the best Mothers’ Day of all.


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