By Leah Williams
In times of quarantine, it is easy to reminisce about the family get togethers of the past. Often times at reunions I would feel like the odd one out.
You see, in my immediate family, I am the only one who is not practicing medicine in one for or another. I hear them talk about things from work, and I listen but do not fully comprehend.
Before I get in any furtheri nto my black sheep professional status in my family, I should provide some background. I am the oldest of four girls who watched my mom return to school and receive her associate degree in nursing. She has now worked for more than 25 years at area hospitals and nursing homes throughout Southern Illinois.
While I could wait and gush about the strong academic example that my mother instilled in me for next week, just in time for Mother’s Day, I felt that a week dedicated to the essential workers and front-line employees who carry out their duties day-in, day-out was more appropriate. I am eternally grateful to my mom for all she has ever done for me, but probably the most important lesson was not from long talks over teenage heartbreak or a one-off proverb to keep me sane day.
What I learned from my mother was her unbelievable work ethic. I sit in awe of her even now as she laces up and gets ready for her next 12 hour shift in the emergency room in the middle of a global pandemic. I try not to worry when I hear her tell me she or another family member tells me that they have seen firsthand what this virus can do. One family member tells me she regularly helps treat COVID-19 patients, describing it as a condition where it’s like a “lawnmower to the lungs.”
Yes, my family is full of healthcare professionals. My sister Rachel is a nurse, my sister Sarah is a home health aide and my youngest sister Kristen is set to graduate from the radiology program at Kaskaskia College later this year. I even have a cousin studying to be a nurse practioner.
It takes a certain kind of person to want to care for others at a time they may feel at their worst. I am proud to know and love many of them.
Stay safe out there, everyone.
Tell Me Something Good is a recurring column from Nashville News Managing Editor Leah Williams. To submit an idea or your own something good for this column, email us at [email protected].