Over the past year, Roger and I have had lots of chances to see nurses in action. I was hospitalized for the first time in 15 years and he was hospitalized twice and each time we were blessed with wonderful nurses and assistants who were careful, safety-minded, responsive, kind, and patient. Each time their non-anxious presence was calming, and we wondered if they ever went home because they always seemed to be around. Their concern for our well being made being sick not so bad.

This week’s recognition of nurses is well deserved. During this COVID-19 crises we have heard about the shortage of nurses, their working conditions, dedication, family sacrifices, and the risks they’ve taken to care for their patients, often putting themselves at the bottom of the list. Their long shifts, increasing patient load, added risk of caring for sick and dying patients, all should help us remember and appreciate these unsung heroes and heroines in the days ahead. I pray as things reopen and settle down, we remember to recognize and celebrate these important medical professionals.

I am delighted when I meet bright young people who want to become nurses. The training is grueling, and the work is hard, but nurses say they love what they do and find it rewarding. This week, next week and next month, too, if you like, take a minute and thank a nurse, whether at the doctor’s office, the clinic, the hospital, your local school, or prison—they’re everywhere—and let them know you see and appreciate them.

Nurses transform environments with energy, positivity and energy, according to www.medprostaffing.com/10-ways-to-celebrate-national-nurses-day/ and among the ways to celebrate nurses this week, the site recommends sending notes and gift cards, throwing a party in their honor, or sponsoring massage sessions. Pick one or all 10—they’re worth it.

While we’re celebrating this week, Sunday is Mother’s Day. I’m so proud I bought cards early and will get them in the mail before Monday, my usual time. I am blessed to have my beautiful mother, and while it’s been challenging to keep her inside and still during the sheltering in place order, she continues to be amazing in every way at 83 years young.

My mother and I aren’t alike in most ways—I cry at sappy movies and mushy messages. She never does. She’s reserved and frames her advice: “I’m not trying to tell you what to do, but….” I, on the other hand, am trying to tell you what to do and don’t couch it with an apology. She is strong and doesn’t suffer fools lightly—when my dad died unexpectedly of a massive heart attack, I was a blubbering mess. She firmly told me “Get a grip and hush that fuss.”

During that whole ordeal she showed me strength I hadn’t seen before or since. She’s petite but a giant in every way. After eight children and a lifetime of service, she’s still the neighborhood taxi, a pillar of her community, a fierce protector of all we hold dear, and someone we admire and are proud of.

There are others who fill that Mom spot, too—a grandmother, neighbor, other mother, someone who inspired, cared for, offered guidance and sage advice, was there through thick and thin–whatever the case, say thank you this week. If you can, send a note, or donate time/money in their memory/honor to a cause that empowers women. Thank them for all they’ve done to make us and the world better.

Finally, here’s a special thanks and salute to dads who also stepped into this role.

How are you planning to celebrate Mother’s Day and appreciate the nurses that you know of? Give me a shout out at #drbondhopson on Twitter and Facebook!

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. All the way from Stanton, TN (you can’t get there from here) to 50 states, six continents and everything in between, she’s wise, witty and altogether wonderful. She enthusiastically invites you to slow down, sit a spell, and share a giggle or two.

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