She suggested, “Your mom must be so proud of you??”. I told her that every single time I see my mom, she tells me she couldn’t be prouder. I unwrapped the tape around her husband’s small bore feeding tube and told him, “I’m going to pull this tube out so that you are more comfortable.” I unhooked his bipap mask, pulled out the tube that entered his nose and sat in his stomach, and replaced the uncomfortable mask with a regular oxygen mask. I listened to his wife tell him, “Honey, you are going to be with Jesus on Easter; you can celebrate with him”. I watched him struggle to breathe. I held his hand as I pushed morphine through his IV. His wife told me to please tell my mom how well I cared for him. She said it again, “Don’t forget to tell your mom. She should be proud. You are doing so good.” She cried. I hugged her, with isolation masks and gowns sticking to us, feeling the sweat starting to form on my forehead. I promised her I’d tell my mom.
Moms of nurses – you hug, you listen, you stay up late for us. Mom, during nursing school you quizzed me on flashcards late at night, and early before a test if I’d managed to procrastinate that much (e.g., insulin chart on front step sitting in morning sun). Mom, during nursing school, you drove up to school to take me out for a study break many times. Mom, during nursing school, you shared my bewilderment over FaceTime (I remember standing outside in the shade of my dorm building) after my nurse tech interview, where I saw an expired patient for the first time. Mom, when I graduated, you took me shopping for a pinning dress, you cried at my ceremony.
Mom, you pick up the phone every single time. Mom, you hate mucus, but you listen to even my grosser stories because you know that is therapeutic for me. Mom, you drew me a bubble bath with epsom salts knowing my feet ached. Mom, you picked up my call after one of my hardest shifts, knowing my husband was out-of-town and I had to be back to work at 0700 tomorrow, you made a bed for me to sleep in, you washed my scrubs, you fed me, you hugged me, you let me talk and cry.
This one is for you momma, you have always believed in me. When that family member told me how my mom should be proud of me, I knew deep inside, ‘she already is’. Thank you for each and every memory. Thank you for each and every sacrifice. (and please don’t stop because I need all of it.) Love you more. Oodles.
Happy Mother’s Day.