I grew up in the Deep South, in a quaint Southern town rich in culture and history, famous for its plantations and southern hospitality.
My Mama served the folks in her community for close to 30 years as an L&D/Post-Partum Nurse at the local hospital. She worked the evening or night shift or both. Pulling those doubles, almost always meant we’d get a little something extra that pay day. My Mama was a single parent and she worked hard and often to meet the needs and demands of three children.
Now listen, My Mama, on her best day, stands 4 feet 10 inches tall, but she is quick to tell you or anyone else around standing close enough to hear it, that she is, in fact… EXACTLY… 5 feet TALL!!! She is feisty, fun and a little LOUD. You ever been around one of those bubbly, too jolly morning people? That’s my Mama! I couldn’t wait to get old enough to drink some of that black, drug filled beverage.
My brother’s and I sat around that kitchen table eating our Lucky Charms many mornings, listening to our Mama laugh and ramble on with story after story, all of them unique and different. Sipping that coffee and rolling those eyes, she’d say, “You should have seen this gal hollering and carrying on!” or “OMG, you wouldn’t believe this gal trying to breast feed that big baby like that” WHAT???? Eyes wide and ears open, she had herself a captive little audience, I assure you. LOL “Hmmmm, she’d smirk….all that NONSENSE, just to bring that baby into this world!” Mama used the word NONSENSE quite often in reference to that Hospital J-O-B of hers. “You kids just don’t know, she’d sigh, patients are a lot to handle sometimes, and you just can’t please them all.” Mama would close all her little tales with this…”but that sure was a pretty baby.”
My Mama was always in a mad rush. Most mornings, without fail, she’d still be slinging out lunch money as the tardy bell rang. We weren’t late in her eyes…we were ALMOST late! My brothers and I were ALMOST late to every big event, our little job or extracurricular activity it seemed. But in the end, she got us there. That Nurse Mama of ours with that big J-O-B of hers… it was her fault! She always seemed to get caught up talking to someone she couldn’t quite recall, but it would come to her later. She’d think about it (out loud) the whole way home!
Sometime, early on, I don’t recall the grade. I decided having a J-O-B at that hospital made my Mama quite the Celebrity. By the time I reached high school, I was pretty well, at best, done with her Celebrity behavior! At 15, like most teenagers, absolutely everything in my life was a big event TO ME! I ought to sit at the top of that little priority list she spoke of so much, it must have been shoved somewhere in that oversized purse she hauled around.
My Mama was one of those women that couldn’t chat for just a second or two. She never ignored, rushed or even politely excused herself from the people she ran into all over town. OH NO SIR… If you just happened to be the lucky kid stuck with my Mama once she got busy reacquainting herself with some proud parents or God forbid, grandparents of one of those bouncing, pretty babies from that hospital J-O-B of hers, you were going to be there awhile! No matter where we were; McDonalds, the local grocery, movies, church or the skating rink on a Saturday morning. Anywhere and everywhere, EVERYONE knew our Mama (and by name, I might add). Young or old, they all knew Mama as ‘Miss Jane’.
I cannot even begin to tell you the number of times our ‘Miss Jane’ had a baby shoved into her arms out of nowhere from a proud, new Mommy, beaming with pride, squealing… “Can you believe how big she is now, Miss Jane, you remember how tiny she was?” Smiling, and with enthusiasm, too many times to mention, ‘Miss Jane’ chatted it up and acted as if, YES she absolutely did in fact, remember every bit of it, the same way those parents did. LOL She was clueless…
I’ve stood at my Mother’s side not once but a hundred times, giggling or in horror …”Hey, Miss Jane”; some young gent sporting camouflage would holler across a Wal-Mart or Kmart parking lot, “check him out!” My Mama, YEP, she did just that! Baby after baby, she happily over the years took her time checking em’ all out and kid after kid, one at a time, she’d walk away covered in boogers, sticky from lolli-pops, and stinky from milk …just a little ‘spit up’, she’d laugh. It was all over her! She didn’t care, she loved it and they loved her. She must have been good at that J-O-B of hers is all I could figure. At ten years old, it was all a little gross to me.
Now don’t get me wrong, I loved my Mama’s happy spirit but when I was in a mad rush to get wherever I needed or wanted to be, I’d get a little annoyed with all of it. I often thought about shouting at the top of my lungs over that loud speaker in Wal-Mart, “COME ON MISS JANE, and LET’S GET A MOVE ON IT ALREADY!”
It’s funny…as we grow up, we become our… Parents! We do what we know! We copy what we see!
All the things that once annoyed me…I became. I’m an apple that didn’t fall far from the tree and I’m proud to say that. I’m my Mother’s daughter for sure and she is her Mother’s daughter.
My daughters stand behind me, rolling their eyes, tapping their feet; while I chat it up with a Nurse I met along the journey I call my career. Whada-ya-know…I was blessed with the gift of gab. My son hit the pulpit at the ripe age of 18…yep he got it too. My grandson’s happily announce their Mama talks ALOT just like GRAMMA CINDY. Little Hannah tells it all, even while she’s sleeping (I got her medicated … LOL) I have one quiet, shy one but she sings pretty loud in the choir and in the car.
Our little Jane (My Mama) is almost 70 now; she’s been retired for years. She walks a little slower with hair of gray but…Guess what??? Folks still call out to her in grocery stores, restaurants and her favorite place…Wal-Mart. As I visited her, I watched in amazement as from place to place we heard a little something like this ~ “You won’t believe it Miss Jane, Little Johnny has a little Johnny of his own!”
You see, that hospital J-O-B of hers wasn’t just a J-O-B to her. That J-O-B was who she was. It was her home away from home. That NURSE J-O-B was her calling, her gift to give to others. She loved the people she comforted and cared for, and they loved her right back. Their remembrance of her is her ‘Grammy’, her reward, her Thank you for giving it all she had!
Are you loving your J-O-B? Have you found your calling? What kind of legacy are you leaving behind? What are your kids going to tell their kids about you?
If you haven’t found that great J-O-B that feels like home…Come See Us! For sixteen years, I have passionately served Clinicians and Medical Facilities nationwide.
Today, I focus my energy on helping people do more than find a career; I help find them a better life!
Cindy Renee’ Moore
Senior Talent Advisor/Key Account Manager
TeamEliteAdvantage Employment Services, LLC.