Many years ago, I wanted to be a writer. However, I had difficulty spelling, and looking up each word in the dictionary was time-consuming. Then, along came the computer with spell check, and my world opened up. I was no longer tongue-tied and embarrassed to write my thoughts and stories.
As a youngster, I was known as the tattletaler in our family. If adults wanted to know something, they would ask me what I had heard. I don’t believe I did it maliciously, but I was curious about the people around me.
I also liked to be alone with my studies. In one house, we had a crawl space behind the wall in the upstairs bedrooms. I claimed one of those as my private study space. I also spent time studying in a car before I could drive.
When I was a preteen, almost the time when the amphibians crawled onto land and developed legs, my aunt shared her Harlequin Romance Novels with me. She read voraciously. I also read other books. I remember reading a story late into the night where I sobbed and sobbed. I don’t know the title or the story, but I can still feel the sadness in the pit of my stomach. And I can see myself in my memory in the upstairs bedroom that I shared with my sisters.
But being a writer wasn’t something I knew about. When people ask me why I became a nurse, I explain that for many women my age, there were few careers open to women raised in a family in the lower economic range, such as teacher, secretary, and nurse. (we already know about my spelling.)
One day in Grade 5, my friends and I walked to the convent to pick up our teacher, Sister Henry. I can see us on the wooden steps on our way up to the front doors of Saint Agustine School. Sister Henry asked about our future educational plans. The other girls said they would like to become nuns. I said, “A nurse. Isn’t this great? They all start with N.”
I had set my career path as noble as becoming a nun.
To be continued