Pistol-packing friend will be remembered

I lost a friend and a mentor this weekend. She “was a pistol” as they used to say and from what she told me used to carry one, too.

During my lifetime I have always had friends of all ages, but especially people much older than me. Mrs. H was almost 30 years my senior, but we were great friends.

Just the way she lived her life was an inspiration. Any time you asker her how she was she answered, “as ornery as ever.”

Her tough exterior hid a caring, loving person who was a nurse for many years not retiring until she was 85.

Even then she stayed active with Meals on Wheels and other organizations. She wasn’t one to be idle for long.

We worked at the local nursing home together in the evenings. In the “small world” department it turned out I went to high school here senior year with one of her daughters.

When I went back to school for nursing, she helped me with homework. She would explain medical terms I didn’t understand and with a patient’s permission let me watch bandage changes and simple procedures. That’s the best learning experience. At that time there were four nurses who worked that shift all the time with me as secretary.

They were all special and every one encouraged and helped me along. Although scattered now, we are still friends, but the one who called me every couple of weeks to check on me was Mrs. H.

We would gossip about who we had seen or talked to concerning the “doings” at the nursing home and laugh over old times.

She worked the 11-7 shift as supervisor before I ever came to the nursing home and used to talk about how she carried her pistol because the back door was never locked and anyone might stroll in.

I remember when we got a new administrator and she came in to meet him. I watched the color drain from his face as she related her pistol-packing days story. We all got a good laugh over that one. Of course, by then they had begun locking doors so she didn’t need her gun any longer.

In her 70s, she got sick and never told us with what, but she was out for a while and we later found out she had cancer-related surgery.

She was back to work in no time and would go to Daytona in the morning and get her chemotherapy and then come to work for her whole shift. She didn’t abide sympathy or feel sorry for herself. She taught us how life should be lived.

Not a day will go by that she won’t be in my thoughts and prayers. When I feel down I’ll hear her telling me to quit that silliness. Her influence will always be a part of me. I know now she is supervising things in heaven. She wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Musings By Darlene Vann
Darlene Vann is a resident of Edgewater and has been with the 24/7 Internet newspaper from the onset. She likes to write about the lighter side of life, but sometimes feels compelled to tackle some of the tougher issues. The blog, "Musings" (and its contents), is the sole copyright-protected intellectual property of NSB News LLC, and cannot be reproduced, copied or published in whole or in part elsewhere without the prior expressed written permission of the publisher. NSBNews.net, VolusiaNews.net and HeadlineSurfer.com are owned by NSB News LLC. All three domains fall under the umbrella of Headline Surfer, a registered trademark.

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