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I turned on my computer this morning to find this message:

Congratulations on Saving Lives for 50 Years!  Today marks the 50th anniversary of our graduation from BMH School of Nursing . Do you have any memories of that day?

The greeting came from our committee chair for our fiftieth reunion that we’re having next month. Our committee of nine has been planning this three-day event for almost a year.

Do I have memories of my student days? Oh my, do I ever. Surviving an almost militaristic three-year diploma program, giving each other our first shots in our buttocks, staffing the whole hospital on nights, relinquishing our chairs for doctors when they entered the nurses’ station, administering my first enema, starting my first IV, stepping aside to let doctors get on and off elevators before we did, and many more.

Some of these stories are in Caring Lessons. I’m sure after this reunion I would be able to write another book!

Here are four of  us all gussied up for graduation (I’m on the right). Note our white leather lace-up oxfords, opaque support hose, long-sleeved starched uniforms with cuffed sleeves (I still have my cufflinks), starched caps, and professional stance.

Almost three-quarters of our class of forty will be attending this reunion. I’m sure most of us will have lost these waistlines, but we will not have lost our hard-earned identity of being a nurse.

I firmly believe, that no matter how much (or little) we’ve practiced nursing these fifty years, our nursing identity, our passion for caring for and about people from all walks of life,  yes, for saving lives, is forever engraved on our hearts.