We’ve come a long way since then, the handwritten names on shiny, coated cardboard that greeted guests at An Evening with the Stars several years back. It was a very genuine if humble gesture born of an idea that had come almost too late for the event: Honor a nurse and support the education of new ones by “buying” a star. And so our paper galaxy had been laid out along a path that would guide guests to the celebration of the best that Johns Hopkins Nursing has to offer.
Mom’s star sat amid a cluster on the floor of the Pinkard Building. As the new guy, I’d bought it mostly to show myself to be a team player. Still, when I saw her name down there, all of the mourning I had yet to do hit me like an actual celestial body dropping from the sky. She’d have been laughing—a floor nurse! Perfect, for she’d been that, an emergency nurse, and so many other things. Mom spent all of her caring on others with none left for herself. She wore out and left us still needing her. There’s a lesson there.
She’d be proud I am part of Johns Hopkins—still disappointed I’ve never written that novel. She’d probably be amazed at what an impact she’s had on my life. As with the paper stars, her heart was in the right place.
I hope you might think about buying a star this year too. (Not for my mom, for heaven’s sake. More than one of her in a room? Good luck.) And don’t expect actual gold and silver—you’re still buying into an idea, after all. You can do it at nursing.jhu.edu/stars. Meantime, enjoy the Summer 2017 issue of Johns Hopkins Nursing, and see you in November at An Evening with the Stars.
Steve St. Angelo