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My Papa. Why I Am The Nurse I Am Today.

Updated | Published

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 6 years experience.

My grandfather whom I have always called Papa was a loving, generous, happy, intelligent man. He got colon cancer. He fought with everything he had for two years then decided; but not before considering the thoughts of his wife; my grandma, only daughter; my mom, and his only granddaughter, me; his body had taken all the chemo it could and he was tired. He said if we thought he should keep trying he would. We told him it was ok and if he was tired we would find the best place for him to rest. You are reading page 2 of My Papa. Why I Am The Nurse I Am Today.. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.


Specializes in Home Health, Hospice, LTC, Acute. Has 24 years experience.

Dearest Learning4Life-

I am a hospice nurse, so I could feel your story as you told it. I am so glad that you were blessed with a hospice care setting, it sounds beautiful. I know how hard it is to lose someone special, but always remember, you gave him the best gift ever- Your Love. May God bless you in your nursing journey- and never lose the enthusiasm given to you by your experience, it is said that we receive 'closure'- I like to consider it an 'opening'- an opening to living your life to the fullest because you have a realization of how fragile life can be and to live in honor of those who go on before us.

after i read you story , i remember my grandpa . he just passes away this year . he is the one that i love the most . i try m best to gain success . hopefully in heaven , he can smile and happy for me . thank you so much for sharing your experience .

I am sitting here with tears running down my face as your story brought back so many memories. My Grandfather too made me the nurse as well as the person I am. At age 80 he came to live with us as my mother, who was 32, was dying from metastatic breast cancer. This was 1950. Gramps promised my mother that he would take care of "the girls", my two sisters were 11 and 13 and I was 5. And took care of us he did. Taking us shopping, cooking breakfast, making our lunch and when it rained walking to school to bring boots and an umbrellas. Being a lot younger than my sisters I didn't always get to do the things they did, but I got to do something even better. Gramps and I would go everywhere together, trolley rides all over the city where he would teach me about so many things. He called me "my pal" and we were always together.

I always wanted to be a nurse from the first time I saw those nurses coming to take care of my mother. I'm not sure if it was the starched white uniform and cap or the beautiful blue cape with the red lining or the respect and gratitude everyone in our family gave her when she came.

As I grew older my desire continued and Gramps told me he would make sure I became a nurse. He was 90 when diagnosed with mouth cancer and we would go on the buses to the hospital for his radiation treatments, two hours on the bus, get the treatment and then two hours home. Exhausting for me at 15 it must have been overwhelming for him, but he didn't complain. He was going to hold on until he knew I was okay. The day of my graduation from high school he told me he wouldn't be able to go, he was too tired. I was sad but excited too. I came home to show him my diploma, I had already been accepted into nursing school and he assured me that I would go and it would be all right to leave him. He told me his work was done and I would be in good hands and to be the best nurse I could be. He told my then boyfriend, now husband of 43 years that he was leaving me in his hands and he should take care of me ( as he has). Gramps died shortly after that and just before I started school. And in his will he directed that money be set aside for my education before any other gifts. So he kept his promise and I completed my dream. I started my nursing career in Oncology at the same hospital that took care of Gramps although by then it was in a beautiful new building with a peaceful park surrounding it and not too far from home. I learned that people will hold on if they think they still have work to do even when dying. So I believe that it is important to tell some one "it's OK to go, your work is done" even when we want them to stay with us.

Although I am now 65 I still miss Gramps everyday. I am so grateful to him for all he taught me, for always telling me to keep trying and do the best I can so as to never be ashamed of my effort.


Specializes in Home Health, Outpatient Med, Radiology.

I went into nursing because I was not satisfied with the care my father, a multiple stroke victim, received. Some days you may think you are paid enough for what you do. Most days you are never paid enough for what you do as a nurse. The day you stop caring is the day you should get out of nursing. Keep pushing on through nursing school. I'm sure your compassion will make you a great nurse.

Wow! Your story hit home and made a hard decision very easy for me! Thanks for sharing! My Popa (grandfather) raised me, he has been the heart of everything I have done. He has always been my driving force. He has diabetes and eye problems. He's 83 yrs old, lives alone and 1200 miles away from me. I told him that I would move back when he turned 85. I just been accepted to the University of Miami Accelerated Nursing Program 12 month program being in May 2010 giving a BSN....I've been contemplating the decision to accept because of the cost and distance but your story reminded me of my promise. I need to get this schooling under my belt, so I can take care of the man that raised me and taught me basically everything I know. Once again thanks for sharing and sorry for your lost!

Your story was truly inspiring and has touched my heart deeply. It gave me inspiration to continue pursuing my nursing career. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt story.


Specializes in ED.

i was bawling by the time i got to the end of your story and then again after reading the post by cjsbaskets. thank you both for sharing.