Did you hear about what Joy Behar said about Nurses on the View? I heard about this several times, but I heard about it backwards first, when Joy made some clearly half-hearted, flimsy, facsimile of an apology on the air. Then I heard more about it when Dr. Oz interviewed Miss Colorado, Kelley Johnson, on his show. He even highlighted the value of nurses with an audience of nurses, including the nurses he works along side of in and out of cardiac surgery. Then he made it a point to announce he was adding a nurse to his show! However, today when I read this letter in response, I learned the full story. Kateri Allard articulates her response in such a gracious, intelligent manner she deserves a standing ovation.
Why did I have such an emotional response to the letter about nurses? My Mother, Mary Ann Hamilton was a nurse. She wanted to go to college after high school. However, her father refused to let her even talk about it. That same father, she told me, only told her he loved her once, on her wedding day when at age 19 she married my Daddy, Damon Hamilton. I was born 11 1/2 months later. By the time she was 22 she had 2 kids and spent the next 16 years being a devoted, full time wife and mother.
However, she never lost the dream of college. When I turned 16 she started college. By the time I started college she was in Nursing school at the U.T. Health Science center. I was in college at U.T. Austin. When she couldn’t find a book in San Antonio, I would find it in Austin and check it out and bring it home for her. By the time she was a junior, I had transferred to U.T.S.A. On weekends I would use the ‘fancy’ electric typewriter I got for high school graduation and put my 2 years of high school typing class to good use, typing her 90 page research papers as she wrote them long hand. She graduated at age 40 with her B.S. in Nursing with honors and we all watched her get her diploma as the first person in the family to go to college.
After working so hard to get her degree, she was eager to work. She worked swing shifts for 2 years at the V.A. Hospital. She worked 1 year at St. Benedict’s Hospice and 1 year with the Metropolitan Health District with prenatal and well baby clinics. Then she went to work for the Visiting Nurse’s Association with United Way. She had so many amazing experiences in those 7 years and touched so many lives.. It seemed that she knew her time was limited, as in October, 1983, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and in November, 1985 she went to heaven. Never-the-Less, I will always have the highest regard for Nurses. Nurses are often portrayed as ministering angels and I agree they are definitely very special ministers.