Maura Spery
Mastic Beach Development
May 2020
3 Min Read

Grace: Spreading Love Like a Virus

Quarantining in my spacious, at least for the two of us, home here in Mastic Beach the crushing world changing pandemic seems a million miles away. That is until I turn on my TV. Then it all comes crashing down. The reality of what has happened and continues to happen in bold colors on a map or stark photos of empty city streets. Numbers that continue to grow exponentially.

Through it all I am drawn to the stories of the Nurses. How can I not be? I am the daughter of a Nurse. And not just any Nurse but the greatest, most talented, most loving, smartest, most beautiful Nurse this world has ever known. Okay I might be the slightest bit biased but somehow every one of those Nurses, in my mind and in my heart, is my mother. Professional, Brave, Vulnerable, Sympathetic, Kind and Strong.

My mother, Grace, could not have been more appropriately named. She embodied all that the word is known to mean figuratively as well as spiritually. I sometimes wonder what her life would have been had she pursued being an artist instead of the pragmatic choice of becoming an RN. Perhaps her religious convictions had everything to do with that choice. A love and devotion that led her to convert to Catholicism at the young age of 17. In spite of this she never preached or pushed her religion on anyone. Don’t get me wrong we had to endure all the rituals of growing up Catholic, Sunday mass, 1st communion, confirmation, CCD classes etc.. but she always allowed for us to create our own relationships, to educate ourselves, to come to reasoned and well thought out conclusions of our own. Whether about religion, politics, real estate, music etc.. In the end she was an amazing teacher. One who taught by example. More than one of our friends were influenced by our Mom to pursue Nursing as a career.

As an RN my mother had a variety of different Nursing jobs throughout her career, first in the ER then for years as a visiting nurse and at the end of her career she was devoted to working in the field of death and dying. I guess now she would be considered a Hospice Nurse. She was there for her patients at the end of their life. Over the years I realized that it was the relationships that she had made with the family member’s that had endured. She had so many lasting relationships with these family members. How she had helped them through the ordeal of losing a loved one was her real gift.

And there it is every time I turn on the TV.  That gift, being given to families again and again, as the Nurses are the ones holding the hands of the loved ones who are dying of this awful disease. Unable to be there, unable to comfort those they love, the families turn to the Nurses, the angels that help to comfort these humans, these mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, husbands, wives, brothers, friends and lovers. All these souls would be dying alone. They are not. The Nurses are there holding phones as well as hands. Comforting, not only the ones dying, but the ones they leave behind. Standing in as the proxy family. Absorbing this terrible sadness and tragedy. Over and over again. Takes a special person.

To me they are all my Mom. They are all Grace.  And I carry them all in my heart with gratitude, love and thanks.

In honor of National Nurse’s Day – Let’s do our part today to Grace them (and all the other essential workers doing their part to keep us safe and healthy) and continue to practice social distancing and safety protocols.