By Kay Wilson
This week has been an emotional roller coaster for many of my friends at St. Francis Hospital with the transition ceremony of the ownership of the facility as the official closing of a chapter and the opening of the new beginning with Mosaic.
Even I felt my throat fill as the officials of the SSM corporate passed the “torch” to Mosaic leaders to continue the care of God’s children which the Sisters of St. Francis began doing 125 years ago.
Norman and I were born in the St. Francis Hospital which stood for decades on East First. And, of course, as with any baby’s birth there are stories about these two events that have been passed down from our parents to our children. Norman was his mother’s “cherry pickin’ boy” as was her duties the day he decided to make his appearance in June. My mother has told of her many hours of labor in late July before Dr. Jackson used forceps to bring me into this life. I was the original cone-head and it was a couple of days before the nurse would let mother see me so as not to upset her.
My story happens four years later. As most children of the ‘50s, I had bad tonsils. Mother and the doctor were convinced they needed to be removed. So, as a young child being placed on a long bed with wheels, I traveled down a hallway into a brightly lit room. A woman’s voice came from a lady wearing a large white hat who leaned over me and said, “Sweet one, count backwards from 100.”
I recall thinking she was like nothing like I had ever seen before and I had no idea what she was asking me to do. “Count backwards” or “100” were not in my realm of experience. But as I pondered this, I drifted off.
And yes, I do also remember the ice cream afterwards. Big bowls of the creamy dish were just what every four-year-old would love.
I have reminded myself and others that with this transition, I am sure the nurses and doctors will offer the same healing touch from the Great Physician without concern of the name on the front of the building.