This is the month we celebrate our mothers who do so much to shape our lives. I want to pay a tribute to mine who died nine years ago. I miss her every day. But I’m comforted by the knowledge that she touched so many people’s lives.
After my father died when I was twelve, she moved us to Mississippi so she could be nearer her family. There were three of us and she always was there for my two brothers and me. She’d taught nursing in Kentucky where we had lived. When we arrived in Biloxi, she went to work as a nurse. She filled several different positions in various hospitals over the years and even taught nursing at the junior college on the coast.
One year she was a school nurse for the Biloxi School District. That was the year Camille, a hurricane with winds over two hundred miles an hour, struck the coast and destroyed a lot of my hometown. She spent hours helping people get back on their feet as a nurse and friend. When something had to be done, my mother was at the front of the line volunteering to do it.
When she would talk about one of her patients dying, you would have thought it was her best friend. That was the way she was. She felt deeply another’s pain and was there to help the person get better. She was a caregiver and a deeply religious woman whose faith in the Lord never wavered through loss, illness and destruction (more than Hurricane Camille wrecked havoc on the coast where she lived).
When my mother retired from being Director of Nursing at Biloxi Regional Medical Center, the Board of Directors said:
Catherine David has been an inspiration to the nursing profession. She was a moving force and leader in the establishment of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Coastwide. She had shown genuine concern for the welfare of the patients and has demonstrated support and concern for physicians, employees and people of the community.
That was my mother, a caring, loving, concerned Christian. I miss you every day, Mom.