Thursday, January 16, 2014

I'm in a GREAT gene pool.....

This is page 3 of a short essay my mother wrote September 30, 1976. It was about 1,200 words.

The subject was "Life Begins At 40" and she was sending it to McCalls Magazine. 

Don't know if it ever was published but I think I would have heard something about this piece had it been.

Mom had encouraged all three of her sons to read - and we all still do - but I didn't know that she was also a writer. 

Maybe even a published one.

I like this page because of the highlighted portion that describes her first lunch hour at her new job.

My younger brother was still in school and he and my dad were waiting for the midday meal.

Mom goes on to say she learned a lesson that day - and so did the others.

Nursing was her real goal. She became a Nurse's Aide when she was 40 and working outside the home.

Her essay goes on to explain that St. Francis Hospital was impressed with her work, her caring attitude and how quickly she learned new tasks.

They offered her a chance to be part of a pilot program to train to be an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse.) They even waived the age limit.

Mom then had to decide if a year of desk work, studying and - groan - tests was what she wanted to do.

She chose that route and the essay describes her dedication and enjoyment of being in the nursing profession at St. Francis.

She once mentioned to me the first time she went to give a male patient a bath when she was an Aide.

Hard to say who was more nervous.

She put the man at ease when she assured him: "Don't worry. I'll wash as far as possible..then you wash 'possible.'"

My mother had a great sense of humor.

After retiring, she was patient when I asked her to pose for weird shots.

Even a picture that looked normal when I took it.

Post-production photography software tools enabled me to move elements around, creating something entirely different from what she expected.

She would laugh and encourage my silliness.

There was one picture she wasn't too keen about.

This was a church-going lady who didn't drink.

One Sunday as I picked her up after a service, I mentioned I was going to stop for a beer. Would she mind tagging along?

She said she wondered where I spent some of my evenings.

This was no surprise altered photo.

She knew what I was doing when I asked her to pose with a yard of ale glass at the now defunct Backstage Deli in North Charleston.

No, she didn't drink any of the beer but all around us patrons were chanting "GO, GRANNY, GO."

Actually, she had a glass of tea. Unsweetened.

As for the tall glass of beer, I drank it along with lunch I bought for me and my mom.

Wasn't the first time I had one of those but this was as close as she came to one. Just posing.

(I have one of these glasses at home. The owner, a year or so later when he was closing down the place, asked if I wanted one. Of course, I said YES.)

Mom passed away about 31 years after she retired. She had worked out of the home and had some nice times in retirement
She was 83 when she flew to Hawaii for two weeks. "Should I go?" she asked me and I said "Nah...wait until you're 93."

She went on the all-expense paid trip that had been offered by her sister and had a grand time.

When she was 89, my younger brother surprised her with a trip to Rome.

She was in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican and saw the Pope on Mother's Day.

This is the same brother who was waiting for his mom to come home for lunch to make a meal for him and our dad.

Nice payback, Bro! 

It's safe to say she got around in her retirement.

(Click on the photos for more details.)

I guess another trait I inherited from my mother was the travel gene.

Hmmm..but I have not been to Hawaii or Italy. 


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