What Alzheimer’s Cannot Do – Part 2

Alzheimer’s cannot destroy my mother’s legacy.

She was a registered nurse – not because she loved nursing or even because she had always wanted a career in medicine. She was a nurse because that was her only choice.cross necklace

During World War 2, the war effort needed more nurses. So they put out a plea for women who might be interested (male nurses did not exist at the time). If a woman signed up to be an Army nurse, the government would pay for her training and her license.

My mother wanted to be a writer, but she had no possibility of pursuing a degree at a liberal arts college. The only way she could somehow earn a degree beyond high school was to accept the Army’s offer and become a nurse.

So that’s what she did. It was her only choice, and she made it a good choice because she worked hard all her life to care for others.

Mom finished the training, but just before she was to be sent overseas, the war ended. So she never really served as an Army nurse, but her degree served her well.

I used to watch her dress for work. White uniform (always a dress, slacks were not allowed), white hose, white shoes polished every day, the starched white hat and no jewelry except a simple wedding band.

But one day, I watched as Mom slipped a tiny cross necklace underneath her uniform.

“I thought you weren’t supposed to wear any jewelry,” I queried.

“That’s right, but I wear this next to my heart,” Mom said. “It’s a reminder of who I am.”

“What do you mean?”

“This cross reminds me I’m a Christian. It helps me remember how I should behave when a doctor yells at me, when I have to tell a family that their baby is dead or when I have to clean up someone’s poop. I am serving others because I love Jesus, and he came to earth as a servant. I am serving in his name.”

I have never forgotten that moment. It is part of Mom’s legacy, a piece of who she is.

Alzheimer’s cannot take that away.

©2015 RJ Thesman – Author of the Reverend G books http://amzn.to/1rXlCyh

10 thoughts on “What Alzheimer’s Cannot Do – Part 2

  1. What a powerful story! You mother seems to be courageous, wise, and admirable. Alzheimers has affected my family too and while it is devastating it is comforting to remember that their legacy will always remain. Thank you for sharing! ~Allie with United Military Travel

    • I’m sorry to hear about your mother, Allie, but I’m glad her legacy lives on with you and your family. Blessings on you as you deal with this disease and keep trying to find hope.

  2. Oh wow! Another personal glimpse. Thank you RJ. It’s interesting to think about our choices in life. Given the fact that we’ve had opportunities our mothers never had, I feel convicted NOT to squander it.

  3. Loved this. Thank you for sharing. It’s a good reminder of how much my mother has done for me all these years and so I can better serve here now.

      • I am reading in my personal daily devotion the book of Exodus. It is interesting and praise worthy to the Lord that He told Moses in chapter 14 to have Israel camp by the sea with the desert all around. What a predicament. However, the Lord never intended to leave His people to wander aimlessly. He made a way through the sea. I thought, “God promised never to leave or forsake us”. Mom is being lead with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. He will open the sea at the right time for her and for us. Please know that I truly pray for you and your family.

        I didn’t know that you knew Parker J. Cole, but the program was great last week. She is my daughter. Have a wonderful day.

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