Nursing Voices

Friday, June 08, 2007

Meet the Family

Meet my Great Aunt Virginia. Here she is sitting in her living room. She won’t tell anyone how old she is, but I’m guessing that she is in her mid eighties, and she’s one of my favor aunts. She’s spunky. She’s also a retired nurse. Virginia worked as a nursing supervisor in a small country hospital for many years. She's also worked as a medical-surgical nurse, an OB nurse, and as a psych nurse. Virginia graduated from Bishop Clarkson Memorial Hospital School of Nursing on May 7, 1942, and she retired from nursing when she was 75 years old.

This is Virginia’s graduation picture from nursing school. I remember when I told her that I was enrolling in nursing school. She was so excited for me, and she’s always has been one of my biggest fans.

This is an picture on my Great Uncle Lowell.

Great Aunt Virginia and Great Uncle Lowell have a very special story. Virginia secretly married Lowell during World War II just before he went to Europe. Nursing students couldn’t be married back then and she would have been kicked out of school if anyone had found out about the nuptials. Uncle Lowell was captured by the Germans in 1943 and spent 24 months in a POW camp. He was very sick when he returned home from the war, and Aunt Virginia nursed him back to health. This picture was taken of them after the war. Lowell died a few years ago, and Virginia misses him very much.

Virginia told me that she is very worried about what’s happening within the nursing profession. She said that nurses are being exploited by hospitals, and she wishes that nurses would band together to stop the abuse. My aunt is a very wise woman.

I'm flying home today and I hope I get home on time and in one piece. I hate flying. I also hate the idea of working 16 hours at the hospital tomorrow. Enjoy your weekend.


Blogger Doc's Girl said...

Beautiful pictures... I love black and white photos...

I hate flying, too, so I feel your pain. Good luck!

9:42 AM  
Blogger Lea said...

I don't know you or your Great Aunt Virginia, but it seems that you two are a lot alike. She's a firecracker!

Safe travels, MJ.

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Rhea said...

Oh, no more Iowa? That was fun. Your aunt seems really cool.

10:54 AM  
Blogger ~Autumn said...

Wowzers! You come from a very photogenic family. It seems to me that the new nursing students are following a hard act with nurses like you and your aunt! Keep the stories coming!

2:25 PM  
Blogger poody said...

16 hours who's idea was that? You don't normally work 16 hr. shifts do you? I love your auntie. She looks like a nurse doesn't she? My grandmother was a nurse too. She too secretly married my grandaddy but it was in 1920's. She was in nursing school and had to drop out. Later she became an LVN.She told me when I graduated nursing school that as long as Drs. squat to shit like me then not to take any guff from them. Never let them see you sweat or cry. Above all, never let them think they can make you cry! I have kept this knowledge all my years in the field and it has served me well. I do not allow Drs. to talk down to me or do I allow them to scold me or treat me as an inferior which we all know they love to do! As a result I have garned the affection of some and the wrath of others!

3:05 PM  
Blogger Jean-Luc Picard said...

She looks a fine woman, with a good history.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Melina said...

Your aunt is so beautiful. Your aunt and uncle's story so could be a book or a movie.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Sean said...

Your Aunt sounds like and amazing lady! She and your uncle look like movie starts!

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to hear how your aunty thinks we nurses are being taken advantage of?!!? Other then the fact that in my ER we never get a lunch break or bathroom break or respect or....well you get the idea.


3:02 AM  
Blogger Bohemian Road Nurse... said...

I like Great Aunt Virginia---she sounds cool.

And good Lord, girl---you didn't allow yourself a day or two after getting home before going back to work? Aaargh!! You need some "down time" before getting back to the grind...

6:58 PM  
Blogger The Curmudgeon said...

It's a wonderful story -- and I hope Aunt Virginia gets to tell it for years to come.

12:58 PM  

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