Coffee with Carrie: After 50 years of service, mom is retiring

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Coffee with Carrie is written by Carrie Gloeckner, publisher and journalist at the Meigs Independent Press. This column is meant to be a way to start your week off with some thoughts about the community, community interest bits and just positive thoughts to start the work week off. Hopefully you can find it interesting, entertaining and maybe even insightful.)

On May 18, 2019 I had the pleasure of attending a small gathering with some of my mother’s co-workers to celebrate her. After 50 years of nursing, my mother is retiring. A half a century of nursing is coming to an end. A new chapter in her life is about to begin, but before that, I want to take stock of a dedicated career and what one person can do.

Many times I have had people tell me that in one medical setting or another, when they saw my mother, they knew they were going to be ok. My mother, Sally, is from a breed of nurses that wore the caps and the starched white uniforms (dresses by the way). She went in with eyes wide open to the level of dedication expected having graduated from St. Mary’s School of Nursing at a time when the Sisters ran it (and you had better come up to their standard or you were sent packing). Through the years mom has worked at St. Joe’s in Parkersburg, Veterans Memorial, Rocksprings (now Arbor’s at Pomeroy), Overbrook Center, and lastly at Camden Clark Memorial Hospital. She has worked everything from the emergency department to geriatrics to post operative recovery. Through the years she has seen more than she probably wants to recall. Yet, every shift, everyday, she went to work. She went to work and treated her patients with the best she could offer them in nursing care.

Many days as a reporter, I don’t eat when I should and I don’t get to go to the bathroom when I want to. What I do has given me just a glimpse and an incredible respect for what my mother has put up with through the years. Nurses, like many other professions, have to put their personal needs aside for the needs of their patients. You can’t tell someone to stop bleeding so you can take a coffee break and go to the restroom. For 50 years, my mother has put the needs of others in healthcare before her own.

Growing up my mother’s work ethic and dedication were something that has always blown my mind. She has grit that is something we need more of in this country. When I think I am tired, I remember there are people like her that are very tired, and yet they keep going. It is time, however, for her to experience a new adventure in retirement. She has more than earned it.

Dedication, determination, caring, humbleness, gratefulness, hard-work, going above and beyond, those are the things my mother has taught me. This week as she counts the last days down, I am too. I look forward to the holidays to come that we won’t have to worry about her being scheduled to work anymore. I look forward to the adventure that awaits her as she finds herself without nursing. A noble career made nobler by 50 years of service by my very humble and very grateful mother.

Whatever you do, do it well. My mother taught me that. I hope I can be half the woman she is. And a very big thank you to all the nurses out there by the way, you are amazing.

Just few thoughts over coffee, come back and we’ll have another cup next week.