I hope your mother is as beautiful as mine. I'm sure she is. Mine is not only beautiful on the outside but she is beautiful on the inside as well. Mama and Daddy arrived here in Montego Bay last Monday, so they have been here a week. The first couple of days I took Mama to town. We went to both grocery stores, (because you can't just go to one and find everything you need), to Fontana Pharmacy, (like a Walgreens), to Sinclairs, Sona (where we exchange money) and to True Value hardware store. Everywhere we went, the Jamaicans that have come to realize that Todd and I are staying and that we are not tourists, just raved about how beautiful Mama was and they just couldn't believe that she was seventy years old. Bust-a-Crab, who is seventy four and for a JA$10 or JA$20 coin helps us back out of the overcrowded parking lot at Sona's, told Mama that she had to have been a star when she was younger.
By the time Friday rolled around and after sewing curtains for the kitchen, dining room, and our room Mama's osteo-arthritis was about to get the best of her. We checked at Fontana's to see if we could get some Celebrex to relieve the pain but of course we couldn't because it required a prescription. Saturday morning it wasn't any better and she finally agreed to let me take her down to the Doctor's clinic in Freeport where the cruise ships come in. Before we left, I called and Nurse Rose answered the phone. She told me that if we would come in quickly we would be able to see the doctor and get a prescription. We dropped what we were doing, loaded up in the car and took off. Mama brought along her make-up bag but it didn't take her long to realize that she was not going to be able to put on eye liner on these terrible roads without losing an eye.
When we arrived at the clinic Nurse Rose told us to have a seat and that she would be with us shortly. True to her word she called us back to a modest room and had us sit down. She asked Mama the usual questions of why she was here and what she needed. She took her vitals but when she started to take Mama's blood pressure she reached for Mama's left arm to put the cuff on. Mama told her that she couldn't have her pressure taken in the left arm because she had had a lumpectomy and had several of her lymph nodes take out under her arm. Nurse Rose made a few inquiries but immediately changed sides. Shortly, Dr. Suckoo came in, gave us the script we needed, we paid Nurse Rose JA$3000 (about US$45) and we went to Fontana's and got the Celebrex. We were done in less than an hour. That is a miracle because nothing is done in under an hour in Jamaica.
Later that afternoon the Jamaican hard line rang. Todd answered it and the voice on the other line asked for Mrs. Blount. Todd said, "Mrs. Blount?" When he looked at me for some reason I had to remind him that I was Mrs. Hood. I took the phone from him and handed it to Mama. The look on her face registered shock and fear. Why would someone in Jamaica be calling her? She took the phone and said, "Hello....yes, Nurse Rose." We all thought it was a routine follow-up call from the clinic. It turned out to be much more than that. For the next fifteen minutes Mama went through her entire story of when she had breast cancer. She told her all about the surgery and the radiation treatments she had and how the Lord had given her the strength to get through it. Then Nurse Rose told Mama her story. She has had three mammograms with two being positive and one being negative. She said she didn't know what the doctors were going to put her through here. All I know is that my Mama cried with her and felt the pain and fear with her and then she prayed with her over the phone. Mama assured her that we would all be praying for her. Nurse Rose told Mama she would call again this week to talk to her again.
What Nurse Rose did would never be done in America because that would go against office policy and could potentially be cause for a lawsuit and all that other legal mumbo jumbo. But, Nurse Rose saw something in my Mama that made her feel comfortable enough to call this beautiful white woman for a little compassion and encouragement.
I know Mama thinks she came to Jamaica to see us and to especially see Bubby. I think she came to see Nurse Rose...maybe you too could say a quick prayer for Nurse Rose this week.