R.N. To The Rescue
A Registered nurse was on her way home from Reno, she had worked the day shift at Saint Mary's over an hour away. She decided not to stop at Raley's on the way home because she couldn’t think of anything she needed. Then at the last minute, she felt compelled to turn in. She responded to a prompting. Just as she entered the store, the little old change lady collapsed to the floor. Massive heart attack. The R.N.'s training took over. She felt for a pulse; there was none. With three massive fists to the chest, and two cracked ribs, the old change ladies heart began to beat.
As a teenager, I went to many a church dance in Fallon, Nevada. We kids from Hawthorne were in a league all our own. I didn’t know till later that nobody else wanted to be in our league. We were pretty in love with ourselves. When I see kids acting that way today, it brings back ugly memories. We would only dance with the cutest girls. Ya, there were the girls that rarely, if ever, danced. One girl, in particular, I never saw dance; maybe once with her brother. Her name was Elva.
Bob went into Raley's nearly weekly. He always said hello to the nice change lady. She seemed pleasant enough. He never did stop to talk, but always said hello. He never looked close enough to make out her name tag, but he always said hello. She always returned his greeting with kindness, and a return hello.
It was bowl season; I was watching my team in a bowl game with Penn State. I was really into it. College football was a passion for me. The phone rang; it was for me. “If you want to see your mother alive, you better hurry down to the hospital. ” It was Susie, my sister, always the blunt one. Mom was still alive, but not doing well. She gained consciousness for two days and then died the third day.
Bob Hyde had been a mentor and example to me at a very critical time in my life. Over a number of years, he had been a “father like” figure to me. I had grown close to his whole family. His oldest son, Mark, gave me much, just as his dad had done. At Mom’s funeral, still no tears. I wasn’t sure if I had it in me to cry. Bob Hyde walked into the viewing. Like a flood, the tears came. I felt so much love for him. It was that love that finally allowed me to let go. Bob came near the casket and looked at my mother with shock. That’s your mother, he said? I didn’t know that was your mother. I must have said hi to her a hundred times. I didn’t know that she was your mother. I didn’t know!
I’m not saying that I really gave a lot of thought when I’d see this girl at the dances, never dance. I did feel uncomfortable though. I did feel sorry for her. I wished that someone would be nice to her and ask her to dance. Deep down, I knew it was painful for her. I did wonder, to myself, why she continued to come to the dances. She knew my name and always gave me a nice hello. I knew her name and returned a nice hello as well. I knew deep inside of me, that it would make her day, if I asked her to dance. They called girls like her wallflowers. I guess guys like me were wallflower makers. I did wonder once whether I should be nice to her and ask her to dance. I never did, but at least I did think about it, once. It was all about image to me at that time. My ego would not allow me to ask Elva to dance. So I never did. Elva always smiled, but her eyes could not hide her pain.
Mom died, and any of the kids who needed to make peace with mom had their opportunity. The R.N. that was prompted to go into Raley’s that cold winter night gave our family a gift; three extra days to help sort out an event that was so new to us. I had never lost a family member that caused me to shed one lousy tear. The love in our family was hidden so deep down, that even death could not uncover it. Until Bob Hyde walked into my mother’s viewing; those were the first tears I ever shed over a loved one passing.
If I could go back to high school for just one day, I would go to a church dance in Fallon, Nevada, and I would dance at least one dance with a girl named Elva, who became an R.N., who followed a prompting to go into Raley’s, who gave us those three extra days, with the little old change lady, my mother.
Author’s note: We never know if the bridge we build today will be the same bridge we cross tomorrow. Build your bridges well. James Kroshus