• Mo MacPhail

You're A Light!

You’re a Light!

My mother was a pediatric nurse in Jersey City, NJ.

When her friends were all getting married and planning their families, my mom decided to become a nurse, even with the voice of her mother saying, in her fine Irish brogue,

“Mary, what are you doin’? You should be thinking of settling down now and getting married, and having children.”

My mother's reply, “Not yet, I have something to do first.”

And so she saved her money working at Woolworth’s bakery and The Ford Motor Company in the city and applied to Jersey City’s Medical Center School of Nursing. Her stories shared of this time are worth their weight in gold and stay with me always, as does she.

My mom had the best stories. She shared them well and often. Whatever story, question or concern you brought to my mother, she would listen and connect with one of her remembered tales, in hopes of bringing more light to the moment. She was very good at this. Sitting at the feet of my mother Mary would leave you better and whole. She was a champion for anyone who spent time with her. She was always on your side. She was - A Light!

One of my favorite stories shared during her nursing days was of a little boy close to her heart. His name was Jimmy, and according to my mother, was a cute little bugger. Everyone loved him. Jimmy was at the hospital for a long time. I can’t remember why. No one came to see him. He was orphaned I think, but overall a happy child and would engage with anyone who walked by and took the time.

He was about 5 years old, but still sleeping in the tall cribs provided by the hospital. I wish I wrote the story down when my mom told it because I am forgetting many of her wonderful details. My mom always had great details that would spider off into other stories and adventures.

What I do remember about this particular one is, one night while she was walking by Jimmy’s bed, he called out to her. He was supposed to be sleeping and she was trying to tiptoe past him. He would have none of it. He heard and stopped her. The two of them shared a conversation that ended with little Jimmy getting so excited by their connection and whatever she had said to him, that he called out to her excitedly as she made her way to go, saying,

“YOU’RE A, YOU’RE A ….,”

Jimmy struggled with words and expressive language. He looked all around and then up, searching for just the right word to show how he felt, and saw the giant hospital light above his bed and so cried out,


He was so pleased with himself and smiled brightly. So did my mom.

She would laugh and say that from then on, anyone who passed by him and took the time he would call out to them,


This term of endearment stuck and would be shared many times from then on, with whoever had the privilege of knowing little Jimmy and his light.

I so love this story. I love all my mom's stories. She would share this particular one when inspired moments or connection to Spirit were made. I suppose I share it now because of the season and the return to and of the light of the world. It reminds me she’s still here with us, shining her light.

I still wonder what happened to little Jimmy. When I would ask her, she said she didn't’ know. Perhaps he’s with Mom now too, looking up and all around together, lighting up the world with their lives.

#light #yourealight #nurse #notyet #jimmy #waitforit #lightuptheworldwithyourlight #returnoflight #mom

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