“What else had you to learn?”
“Well, there was Mystery.”
…I could write a preface on how we met
So the world would never forget
And the simple secret of the plot
Is just to tell them that I love you a lot…
[Citation: “I Could Write a Book,” by Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers, from the musical “Pal Joey;” Broadway stage production 1940; film adaptation 1957.]
Claire and I met when she took a course on quality improvement taught for managers working in and near Madison. At that time, she was the Psychiatric Program Director at Madison General Hospital. She had worked her way through school, earning a Master of Science in Nursing, and had previously taught at the University of Wisconsin School of Nursing. I found that whenever she spoke, it was like a ray of sunshine: helpful, sensible, and original.
Claire told me that becoming a nurse wasn't always easy, and once, as a student, she was nearly removed from the program. She had been working with an older woman who was dying and had no family or friends nearby. On Mother's Day, Claire sent her flowers and made the florist promise to keep her name confidential. The unit clerk called the florist, who revealed Claire's identity as the sender, and there followed many lectures about “inappropriate boundaries.” She later had a wonderful instructor who eventually forgave her and even let her stop wearing her nursing cap because it kept falling off.
When Claire and I were getting to ...