The Gift of Love

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    I love people, and love to see them be happy. I believe it will always be my desire to do so because that is what makes me the happiest. This is why I decided to enter the field of healthcare.I have learned through the years that when we are the healthiest, we are the most active and are able to be the most productive.

    From the time I was a child, I was constantly getting ill with things like strep throat, all the childhood diseases most of us have gone through, tonsillitis and pneumonia. I believe it was due to my low weight at birth. I was born an anemic baby weighing only 3 pounds 11 ounces in 1943 when there were no such things as ultrasounds and Gynecologists. My sister weighed over 5 pounds and was sent home with our mother, but I had to stay in the hospital until I reached 5 pounds. With a toddler of 3 already at home, my mother was overwhelmed. She had no idea how she and our father were going to be able to handle a toddler and a set of newborns, with one who's health was already compromised and in need of continual care, so my grandmother volunteered to care for me the first three months of my life. That eased my parents' anxiety until I was about 3 months old.

    A few years later, my mother said she wanted to be a nurse. I didn't understand why at the time, but when my brother and I were hospitalized for a tonsillectomy, I understood. Those nurses were so kind and attentive, and I loved being around them. They gave me special attention when I was diagnosed with viral encephalomengitis. Nobody thought I would survive, and our family doctor sent me to a major medical center where I recovered after six and a half weeks of treatment. The nurses in that medical center encouraged me to make the beds of other patients, and other simple duties that would provide me with physical therapy and putting my mind on other people, helping them to be more comfortable. That activity and the caring kindness of the nurses in my life as a patient taught me how to feel better about myself and gave me insight into nursing. I loved it.

    A couple years my recovery, I got a job as a nurses aide in a nursing home. I loved those elderly people. Some of them were so grateful for the time I took to dress their wounds, clean them up or made them more comfortable for the day they began to give me little gifts of "Thank you, you are so nice to me."

    Seeing some of them not having any visitors for months on end and looking at the expressions of loneliness and longing on their faces, I decided to do something about it. We had a very nice head nurse on the day shift where I worked who went along with my ideas and allowed me the freedom to create activities for the people I had grown to love so much.

    "The Cracker Barrel Club," s club designed for the men was created and was conducted on a monthly basis. Those elderly gents liked it so much they made a jewelry box for me out of an old wooden cigar box. I knew it was made with care and the love they had for what I had done for them. It was lined with gold taffeta, and covered with tiny tiles on the outside. It remained one of my favorite treasures for many years. That goes to prove the saying "It isn't how much you pay for something that counts, but is the love that is put in it that lasts."

    I was later drafted into typing up a monthly newspaper for the residents titled, "The Gay Nineties Review." I even created a poem about two residents titled; " Life begins at 80" each month telling a tiny bit about two different ones each month. The paper was an instant hit, and it disappeared off the nurses desk within a couple days.

    A co-worker friend of mine and I decided to create a skit to entertain them also. That was back in the 60s when the hippies were around. So we picked a tune titled "I'm Henry the Eighth." After we acted out the song for them, the residents laughed, clapped and talked about how good we were to them.

    I left that job after a couple years to get married, but always kept my love for helping others. Then in 1979, as I was cleaning house for a local store owner, someone came into the store yelling the next door neighbor was passed out on his lawn. The store owner told me to go see if I could help him. I saw that he wasn't breathing, so I began performing what I knew about CPR at the time on him until the ambulance arrived. The crew took over, and later asked me to join their corps. So I became a member, and always wanting to apply the scripture in Proverbs about doing our best at whatever we do, shortly after I became a basic first aider, the EMT course was offered. I signed up for it. I was the only EMT in the ambulance corps for 15 years. I rose to leadership positions quickly, and learned that what we love to do the most is our God given gift, and we will do the best at it. I became a school bus driver soon after I joined the corps, and my employer seeing how I loved helping people so much decided to send me to train as a CPR and First Aid Instructor. I remained in that position until I left in 1996 and moved to Central PA.

    A fellow church member knew I was looking for work, and encouraged me to go to nursing school. She gave me a link to where I could acquire a scholarship. I managed to get a full scholarship to LPN school where I graduated the following year, and soon obtained my license.

    Sometimes our lives take a sudden unexpected turn. Mine did while I was actively looking for work, and applying for numerous positions. Although I was forced to go on disability, I decided to go to plan B where I remain active on the internet at
    Last edit by Joe V on Dec 18, '14
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    About FranEMTnurse, LPN, EMT-I Pro

    How and why I eventually became a nurse at age 55.

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  3. by   sharpeimom
    Frannie, you're one in a million! You're so full of love it just bubbles over! Sending you bunches and batches of hugs! You're near
    Phillipsburg where my great grandparents lived.
  4. by   ElvishDNP
    Thanks for telling your story, Fran. You are a blessing to so many here at AN, and no doubt in real life!
  5. by   ClaraRedheart
    Beautiful story! You have a true love for LIFE (God's creation) and it shows As Elvish said, you are a blessing to us here.
  6. by   amygarside
    What an inspiring story. You must have been feeling great by now. Thanks for sharing.
  7. by   FranEMTnurse
    Thank you all for your wonderful comments.
    Last edit by FranEMTnurse on Feb 6, '14 : Reason: decreasing the wording
  8. by   amygarside
    You are very much welcome, Franemtnurse.