“There was a great deal of interest in the story I published on Maggie,” Green Bay Press-Gazette reporter Dian Page told me after her initial column on my search for the nurse named Maggie, which was published last month. “I’d like to do a follow-up story. Could you pass along some information on what you found?”
It took me about a week to return calls and emails from the many people who responded. It took an equal amount of time to process the thoughts and feelings it brought to me. It was incredibly touching that so many people were interested in my story and my search.
Today Dian published her follow-up story, Pediatrics Nurse Remembered Fondly By Many.
Have you ever searched for someone from your past? I’d like to hear about it.
In my Anne on Fire research, finding this much information on a “Maggie” — someone remembered but long-lost from contact — is unique. Talking to friends, relatives, siblings, doctors and others associated with my burn experience, their memories have varied widely. Just because the memories are vivid for me doesn’t mean they leave memorable impressions on others. One person’s crisis is not necessarily another’s. One person’s joy may be their own. It’s remarkable to have the perfect shared experience as I found in my search for Maggie.
For example, when I called the doctor listed as my pediatrician, he was receptive to my call. He had known my parents for many years and I had gone to high school with his son. As much as he remembered our family, he had to scratch his head about me. He certainly remember me but not the story of the burn even though it was 99% certain that he was there during the initial stages. When I talked to my father-in-law (a retired surgeon) about his, he reminded me about the volume of work and the many sleepless night he spent doing surgery after surgery. Of course, he remembered many of his patients and their specific stories but helped me understand how impossible it would be to remember every detail as a patient would.
All of this is what makes the Maggie story so remarkable. From everyone I talked to and everything I learned, I know Maggie always remembered me. As a nurse’s aid, I was told, Maggie would have had the time to spend with her little patients — unlike the duties calling the regular nurses and doctors. And that is what people remembered about Maggie: The time she gave to those she loved.
It’s something to know and remember about life. The time we spend with others is the most lasting gift of all.