Forty six years ago, a teenage girl came to Sheffield to begin her nurse training. Yesterday, her nursing career within The National Health Service reached its formal conclusion. I have been with her nearly every step of a career that she is entitled to look back upon with pride and happiness for I fell in love with her when she was just twenty years old. We married in October 1981.
These words were written in one of the cards she received yesterday at the health centre where she worked for the past twenty two years:
To Wonderful Shirley!
Just wanted to say thank you for everything!
When I started here two years ago I knew nothing about being a practice nurse. You took me under your wing and taught me everything I know. Thank you for your patience, getting me through my smear training, answering my random questions and texts on an almost daily basis. You are an inspiration and a fantastic role model and I feel so lucky that I have had you to mentor me. You will be missed by all the team and by me especially.
Enjoy your precious time with your beautiful granddaughter. She is lucky to have you - you're going to have a blast!
See you soon for a few proseccos.
All my love,
And so that is it. The end of an era. Shirley is going to take some time out before deciding if she has really left nursing entirely. Of course, she will have opportunities to cover for absent colleagues or to deliver vaccinations from time to time but at the moment she's not sure.
I am enormously proud of what she has achieved in nursing in different locations - from Accident and Emergency service in our main city hospital, orthopaedic ward nursing and then on to practice nursing - serving three different communities. Along the way, she worked very hard to attain a nursing degree and a Masters having begun as a basic State Enrolled Nurse (SEN). And you know what - she always loved it - every step of the way. She was doing something that was undeniably worthwhile within an organisation that she was always very proud to serve - The National Health Service. It was a fantastic journey and she leaves without bitterness or regret. No one can doubt that she did her best.
She is proof that angels walk among us. You're a lucky man, Mr. Pudding.ReplyDelete
Nursing is about love of humanity.Delete
Your tribute to your wife is inspiring and comes at an appropriate moment for me. My daughter is about to leave a lucrative job in import/export and begin a nursing degree here in Perth. She feels it's time to contribute more to the community now that hospitals are under such pressure with COVID. Fingers crossed it all works out for her!ReplyDelete
It is a big jump but she must have thought long and hard about it. Best of luck to her Margaret.Delete
What a wonderful legacy of caring and achievement! Congratulations to Shirley. I hope you both enjoy her retirement or semi-retirement.ReplyDelete
Kind words. Thank you Kylie.Delete
I have said for years that nurses are the true heroes/heroines of the medical community. Doctors too often are too impressed with themselves to think of the patient in a complete way. Nurses fill that bill. Congratulations to Shirley on a successful career of care-giving and may she enjoy her retirement, if retirement it is. Treat her well, YP.ReplyDelete
Yes. Generally speaking, nurses belong to a different breed from doctors.Delete
Please pass along my warmest congratulations to Shirley!ReplyDelete
I will. She is out with Phoebe just now.Delete
What a glowing tribute to Shirley and her service! She has definitely earned a fantastic retirement.ReplyDelete
She hardly ever had time off - such was her dedication.Delete
Happy retirement to Shirley, a well deserved retirement it sounds like.ReplyDelete
Shirley sounds like the best kind of nurse, a kind, well educated, caring nurse.
Just like you Nurse Lily.Delete
Congratulations to Shirley on her retirement. She was in control to the end and went out on her own terms. It looks like she intends to be in control during retirement as well.ReplyDelete
Hope she doesn't try to control me!Delete
What a wonderful note to receive. In spite of the official thanks and goodbyes, the note will stick more in memory.ReplyDelete
I am sure she will do something else related to health just to have a break away from... I wonder.
I also think that heartfelt note means more.Delete
Anyone who works with such dedication is worth our utmost respect, and if that work has anything to do with health and nursing, these people are heroes! I wouldn't be able to do what Shirley and many others in her line of work have been doing.ReplyDelete
So, did you celebrate in due style?
No we didn't. We are going out for a nice lunch on Saturday with Frances and Little Phoebe.Delete
I am always in awe of the commitment and dedication of the vast majority of our NHS staff, and nurses in particular. I had the privilege of working with many of them during the course of my career and have recently received excellent care as a patient. Shirley seems to be an example of the best of the best.ReplyDelete
My very best wishes to her for a well deserved retirement.
Thoughtful comments. Thank you Jacqui.Delete
Congratulations Shirley on your many happy years of looking after people.I hope that you enjoy your retirement . You will be able to go walking now with that husband of yours!!!ReplyDelete
I understand why you added three exclamation marks!!! Thank you Frances!!!Delete
Nurses worldwide are absolute treasures for the services and comforts they provide.ReplyDelete
I admire their pragmatism. Every day is a new day.Delete
Congratulations to Shirley, may she enjoy a long and happy retirement. After so many years dedication to the health of the sick and infirm of Sheffield, she deserves a well earned rest, and time to enjoy life with her family and friends.ReplyDelete
A kind comment Carol. Thank you.Delete
A long and happy retirement to Shirley. A new phase in life - for both of you. Will there now be a Mrs. Yorkshire Pudding blog? That would give a different slant on things. "Husband off walking yet again, leaving me to do the cleaning ..."ReplyDelete
She's too busy on Facebook etc to make time to launch a blog..."Husband in kitchen again making our millionth lovely evening meal while I sit here with my feet up."Delete
Congratulations to Shirley, and to you as well! It is an adventure. Nearly two weeks into retirement, I have to say that I wholeheartedly recommend it.ReplyDelete
Not everybody makes it to retirement. We should be grateful when we get there.Delete
Here is to a happy retirement for Shirley. It was a wonderful note from a colleague to respect her in this way. Nurses are the backbone of the NHS, we owe them so much in their dedicated work.ReplyDelete
We owe them so much...but in the eyes of Johnson and his gang, not so much money.Delete
Wishing Shirley all the best in retirement. Her remarkable career in nursing is a shining light--something so needed in these somewhat dark days. Clearly, she served not only her patients and the community, but all the nurses and staff who were lucky enough to spend time in her orbit. May she enjoy every minute of her retirement--her time with you and the rest of your beloved family.ReplyDelete
Such lovely words. Thank you Mary.Delete
I wish her a happy retirement. I'm sure she'll find lots to do and wonder how she ever found the time to go to work. Well done for surviving all those years in the NHS. You have every right to be proud of her.ReplyDelete
It was an honour to work for the NHS. I hope that Kay feels the same.Delete
What a beautiful tribute to your loving, beautiful friend who just happens to be your wonderful wife and (from all we know and have learned) a wonderful nurse who has made her mark with many patients and with her peers. Congratulations, Shirley. May your retirement be filled with joy and great adventure!ReplyDelete
You are very kind Donna. I will pass on your words.Delete
Wishing Shirley a very happy retirement and here's to many fun adventures ahead as she moves to this new phase of life.ReplyDelete
Wishing Shirley a most enjoyable retirement. Being on holidays for the rest of your days is a great reward for hard work.ReplyDelete