As close as I'll ever get to Lance...sigh.
Oh, and how could I set foot on true Texas Dirt and not have a pair of these?!?
Quite a bit. Volunteering runs through my veins like the blood my mother used to help drain from other peoples bodies. She had done Blood Drives for the Red Cross since the war, right up to a few years before she died. She was the old-fashioned style nurse with pefectly white uniforms, and the perfectly starched - then folded and pinned- pointed cap that her nursing school adopted. Each school, my mother had explained to my sister and me, had its own design of cap. Style maven that she was, my mother chose a nursing school straight out of high school that was forty some odd miles away from home. She liked their 'cap' the most. Given my penchant for monster movies, I personally would have been a bit worried if a nurse showed up at my bedside dressed like this...
Arline Constance Gifford
Graduation. 20 years old.
When I was of that certain age, I tromped down to the local Blood Drive to do my part. They told me I didn't weigh enough for my height to give blood. I can't tell you what this did to my fragile ego. I had already been through the same thing at the recruiting office. I couldn't even volunteer to be shot at. I would have been good too. Living with my sister had made me the master of evasion. Never the less, the Red Cross Nurses put me to work emptying wastebaskets of bio hazard stuff and bringing cookies and orange juice to their victims. On the occasion of my father receiving his first - of many - 'Gallon Donated' pins, I asked my mother, after noticing her lack of even one little plastic drop of blood pin, "Do you donate blood?" Her reply was not only one of her classics, but served to show me a bit of the side of my mother I did not often see. She said, " Oh good grief, no. Laying there with all that bright red blood running out of me, are you kidding?"
A few years later I was forced to be subjected to all sorts of immunizations for a job. I drove over a hundred miles to the medical office my mother was working in to have her give me the shots.
Three shots, all to the arms. I didn't have a lot of excess fat on me and strange nurses had a tendency to not listen to me when I would tell them, "You need to use a shorter needle," while they proceeded to jab me, straight to the bone. Ow? If you have ever had the opportunity to experience needle-crunching-bone you know what I mean.
I should have stayed home. My mother had all three short-needled hypodermics lined up on a tissue covered tray. I sat down. Then she, my very own mother, picked up the first needle, slowly fanned it in front of my face, and said, "Do you remember... when you knocked over your Grandmother's entire butler's tray of Waterford crystal....."
Total silence ensued as the numbness of one who is feeling betrayed swept over me. I went deaf. Couldn't hear a thing, my eyes began to fog over. But, through the haze that was slowly enveloping the room, did I see that, by now, all too familiar twinkle in her eye trying to be repressed?
Suddenly a tall body in a shirt with monogrammed cuffs slid through the door. My mother could no longer hold it in and was overcome by a fit of hysterics that forced her to slump in a nearby chair. It was the doctor she worked for.
Keeping this in perspective, this man was The Genius of heart doctors. Youngest member at the time to ever be admitted to the American Assoc. of Cardiologists. Henry Fonda was under his care during a filming in the state (and yes, my mother got his autograph on a prescription pad). Christian Barnard was his hero. For a moment I thought there might be magical, invisible EKG machines monitoring my heart and all the red lights had gone off in his office, set flashing by the possible slight heart attack I may have just had, until....
He said, "I heard nothing but silence, figured I'd better make sure you hadn't fainted!" He was in on it too. My mother was good. Great even. I may never live up to her. But I keep trying. Ask my kids. But no, on second thought, they still are not quite old enough to appreciate this stuff.....
I maintain my Secret Blog Status.