A letter for Lois

Morrison native Lois Schick was recently honored as a Nightingale Luminary Award recipient by Lutheran Medical Center near Denver, Colo. The Nightingale Luminary Award is the highest nursing honor bestowed on outstanding nurses in the region.

Fifty-seven years after graduation, six Reinbeck classmates from the 1964 graduating class met for lunch. We enjoyed reliving our Reinbeck High School fun facts, agreed how important our teachers were for our life successes and how the Reinbeck community shaped each for leadership.

Let me share this story.

Lois Schick was a best friend for many. She shaped me and others in so many ways.

Morrison, Iowa was her childhood home. Graduating with the class of 1964, she then attended nursing school in Kansas City. Her education was very important to her eleven brothers and sisters. They supported her financially and emotionally since she was a first for a college education.

Now my friend has many credentials behind her name. RN, MN, MBA, CPAN, CAPA, FASPAN. To her log of lecturing engagements throughout the nation (and the world) is also a list of her peri-anesthesia textbooks.

You ask, what is peri-anesthesia? It is the critical person recovering patients after anesthesia and surgery.

My classmate is determined and yet humble. Her career was spent working in the Denver, Colorado area hospitals. She worked holiday shifts for co-workers that had families and had an open-door policy at her home for those in need.

Lois has aggressive bone cancer. Her desire was to return to Iowa.

A devoted brother arranged a private jet for her flight home and a sister gives her loving daily care. Phone calls, large baskets of cards and letters arrive daily, plus visitors from across the United States.

Lois touched so many. She was one of 24 nurses selected for an honorary Nightingale Award. She was one of the 12 final runners up for the honor, but on our list, she is No. 1.

Six classmates agreed that humble beginnings nurture. We are grateful for our small community, our devoted teachers, and the morals nurtured by our families and community.