I’m a little late but, happy Mother’s Day.
You have been a nurse longer than I’ve been alive.
Fate just so happened to intertwine you and dad in an eerie accident in which on August 4th, 1984, my dad, working a random and unusual Saturday afternoon at his construction job in Delta, Utah, was struck on his way home from work while on his motorcycle by a drunk driver on a relatively empty state highway. My dad was covered in second and third degree burns after his motorcycle exploded. The fireball also caused him to crash and it severed his leg from the thigh down to where his leg was hanging onto his body by a sinewy string of tendon from the knee. My dad had one of the first full artificial leg replacements in the history of Utah’s medical department. During his three plus month tenure of surgeries and recovery, he had a care nurse that watched him six days a week from morning til night. Her name was Allison McConnell and she was relatively new, getting her associates degree and taking up her first job as a critical care nurse in the burn and ICU department at Payson hospital.
Yes, in simpler and shorter terms, my mother fell in love with my dad while she was rehabbing him. Pretty cliche, right? I’ve always told my parents that when I finally decide to stop being lazy that my screenplay cash cow will be their love story.
My mother has been a home health and hospice care nurse since we moved to Spooner Wisconsin in 1993. She currently has been visiting patients during this pandemic, taking every precaution necessary and educating people on proper safety all while still making home visits and driving through miles of countryside and hours of road.
My mom had one hip replaced after she fell on a family vacation in which her, my dad, and my littlest brother were fucking rock hunting, out of all things. She was due to have her other hip replaced this April, but instead has been struggling for the past three months, using a cane and still visiting patients that need help or care they don’t get from family or otherwise.
My mother is the true epitome of what I see in a heroine - she supported four boys and a disabled husband as the only one working through my entire childhood and into my adult life, had to take care of a child that was 4 when I graduated high school. She has always been a part of her work; she takes holidays on call voluntarily so her staff can spend Thanksgivings and Christmases with their families. She’s been there for families when their young children have been slowly dying of untreatable cancer at home. Mom has helped countless friends and family of friends with home care - making sure they’re either comfortable and not suffering at their end of life or recovering from serious traumatic events.
I love my mom, I spent hours talking to her today reassuring her that I was taking care of myself and that she needed to stop sending me care packages from local spooner businesses because I can’t eat anymore cheese and I have way too many books to read. When I asked her what else I could do that I haven’t done, she simply said, “I love you, and you do enough. Maybe, write something that people will enjoy reading though.”
I’m glad we spent so much time talking today, I can’t wait until you get your hip fixed and you’re a main reason why I stick around. Love you, mom.