What Mother’s Day Means to Me

In this special Mother’s Day blog feature, two IntelyCare employees share stories about being the daughters and granddaughters of nurses and how their experiences have shaped their approach to life.

My Mother, by Kelsey Grimmer

Kelsey and her mother on Mother’s Day, 2016. Photo courtesy of Kelsey Grimmer.

Kelsey Grimmer is a Senior Accounts Receivable Specialist at IntelyCare and has worked for the company for two and a half years. She loves working for IntelyCare because of the positive impact the company has on its facilities, IntelyPros, and patients. She was inspired to share her mother’s story this Mother’s Day to shine a light on how selfless, hardworking, and valuable nurses are to us all.

When I was first presented with the opportunity to write a blog post for Mother’s Day, I thought it would be easy. I thought, “My mom is a nurse, and I love my mom! It will be no problem for me to write about this!” But the closer I got to the deadline, and the more thought I put into it, I started to become unsure of myself. I am not a mother, and I am not a nurse. How am I, someone without these life experiences, supposed to write in a way that accurately captures what being a nurse and a mother means, and present it all in a way that does both of these identities justice? Perhaps by being someone who was raised by a nurse I can give a fresh perspective.

When I was young, my mom worked nights at the hospital. The best part of my day was waking her up for dinner before she left for work. Then I would wait all day for her to come home. I would be so happy every time she walked through the door. I remember getting sick as a kid, staying home from school, and having her there to take care of me until I felt better. She was always cleaning and bandaging my scrapes when I fell off my bike, and while I thought those days were long behind me, I was proven wrong recently when I fell and cut my hand on the pavement during a run. I came home, and there she was, ready to clean and dress yet another one of my wounds, just like when I was a kid. Moms never stop being moms, and nurses never stop being nurses.

Kelsey’s mother at her nursing school graduation with Kelsey’s grandparents.
Photo courtesy of Kelsey Grimmer.

However, I think one of the most selfless things my mom has done was alter her entire life to care for someone very close to her. Shortly after my grandfather passed away in early 2000, my grandmother started showing signs of Alzheimer’s. Over the summer, my mom would take me to her house while she cared for her. While I spent my time there doing kid things, I still was very aware of what my mom was doing. I watched my mom take care of her own mom, who couldn’t take care of herself anymore. It had a big impact on me.

After my grandmother fell and broke her hip, it became clear that she would need long-term care. It also became clear that my mom couldn’t spend all day working, taking care of her kids, and taking care of her mother all at the same time. Instead, she decided to quit her job at Yale New Haven Hospital and start working at a nursing home down the street from our house so she could be there to take care of my grandmother every day. I remember going there after school and on the weekends and seeing my mom at the nurses’ station, which was right next to my grandmother’s room. I knew how well my mom took care of me when I needed it, and I knew my grandmother was receiving the best possible care while my mom was there with her.

Prior to working at IntelyCare, I don’t think I truly understood the scope of what it means to be a nurse. However, after being behind the scenes, listening to the stories and experiences of our IntelyPros, I have a greater understanding of the care, compassion, and work ethic nurses have. It makes me think often about my mom, and how she is always putting the needs of others before her own. I think about how hard she works and how she asks for nothing in return. But mostly, I think about all that she’s done to care for our family, and how none of us would be the same if it wasn’t for her. As a nurse, mother, and daughter, she has always been so selfless. I admire that about her so much.

To this day, at almost 30 years old, I still call my mom to let her know of my every cough or sneeze, ask for her advice, and wait for her to soothe my fears and tell me there’s nothing wrong with me and that everything’s going to be fine. I have no idea what I would do without her. We need moms, we need nurses, and we need to do everything in our power to support, protect, and love them.

My Why, by Sara Banks

Sara and her daughter, London. Photo courtesy of Sara Banks.

Sara Banks is an Accounts Receivable Supervisor at IntelyCare. She has worked for IntelyCare for a year and a half. Sara loves working for IntelyCare because she feels seen, included, and heard. She wanted to write about her experience as a mother this Mother’s Day because working for IntelyCare is a full circle moment for her. Sara’s grandmother has been a nurse for over 63 years – she and her twin were the second and third Black nurses to ever grace the halls of Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Massachusetts. Working at IntelyCare has brought back so many childhood memories of the halls of the Adult Day Center where her grandmother was the ADON. Being that Sara is now a mother herself, she understands so much more the sacrifice her grandmother made working as a nurse every day.

When I started to think of exactly how I wanted to approach this blog, I first thought of my grandmother, and of how blessed I am as a granddaughter, daughter, and mother myself. Growing up, I lived next door to my grandparents. Every morning before my grandmother, or Ouma as I call her, left for work, I would stand on the toilet in my parent’s bathroom to say “bye” and a little prayer. We would say, “Walk with the Lord, and be a blessing, and put a smile on somebody’s face.” Then she would end it by saying, “And thank you for the smile you put on my face this morning, my darlin’.” That is the embodiment of my Ouma – someone who is loving, kind, and the epitome of what it means to be a mother.

I cannot remember a time when I didn’t idolize my Ouma. First as a woman, then as a mother, and now as a professional. My Ouma has been a nurse for 63 years. My brother and I grew up spending our school vacations at work with her. During those times I was able to witness firsthand how much time, effort, and care goes into the nursing profession. Ouma was the ADON at an Adult Day Center in Framingham and everyone loved her – I mean everyone. I can remember being about 10 years old and telling her how I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. I like to think that I am, even if I am not a nurse. Like my grandmother, I hold my role as a mother in the highest regard, I try to always be kind and loving, and most of all, I try to provide an environment in which my daughter feels comfortable to show up as her most authentic self at all times.

Sara’s daughter, London, with Ouma. Photo courtesy of Sara Banks.

Being a mother is no small job, especially in these days and times, and ESPECIALLY as the mother of a preteen. (My heart goes out to anyone living this life with me – I am sending you good vibes. It gets crazy!) All jokes aside, my daughter, London, makes being a single mother as easy as possible. She is an Honor Roll student (she has NEVER received less than a B), she is involved in a host of extracurriculars that she was selected to be a part of, and she is polite, kind, and a great friend to others. Life with London is pretty great.

As you can probably tell, being a mother is everything to me, and if I am being fully transparent, being a mother gave my life purpose. I lost my father when I was young. Losing him left a huge void in my life, as well as in the lives of my family members. Having my daughter did not heal my heart completely, but it did make the sun shine again for me, if you will. I like to compare her impact on my life to children’s blocks (triangular prisms, cylinders, etc). If you try to put a cylinder in a triangular prism spot, it won’t completely fill the space, but it will fill the majority of the space. That is what being a mother has done for me. It filled my heart with love again and gave me a reason to work hard every day.

Up until November 2020 I was at my breaking point trying to make sure I could provide for London financially and emotionally. Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day, they say. I was using 21 of those hours to accomplish everything London needed from me and to provide everything I wanted to give to her. Then IntelyCare came around.

What I am about to share may sound like I am laying it on thick, but I mean every word. IntelyCare is hands down the best place I have ever worked. This company has completely changed my life, and it did so pretty early on. Our mission here at IntelyCare is to empower all nursing professionals to transform the way they work. This mission reminds me of my grandmother because she quite literally empowered the people who reported to her to live their best lives, just like IntelyCare has done for me and how I hope to do for those who now report to me. I was blessed to get to witness firsthand just how loved and respected my Ouma was and still is. On this Mother’s Day I am thankful for a company that fully lives up to their mission and allows me to do what I love most – be a mom.

I have never worked for a company that cares so much about each individual employee. From the benefits to the pay, IntelyCare has made being a mother easier for me. On top of that, knowing that your company wants the best for you both in and outside of the office is a priceless benefit. I am sure a good number of our corporate employees, as well as our IntelyPros, would agree.

I decided almost nine years ago, when London and I moved back to Boston from California, that I would make any and every sacrifice necessary for her to live the absolute best life possible. It’s funny because as I write this blog, I am on a plane back to California for the first time since we left those nine years ago. I am able to take this trip, without guilt or worry, because I work for a company that values work/life balance and that pays a livable wage. I know I have worked hard to get to where I am today, but IntelyCare has simultaneously provided and fostered a healthy environment in which I feel comfortable to not only learn and grow, but to be my most authentic self.

I also know that the version of myself that IntelyCare allows me to be is providing the perfect mold for London. She gets to see me working and she knows how much I love my job. She’ll often joke with me about me being a boss now and how far I have come. Something has to be said for your child being proud of you, and something more has to be said for knowing your child will never settle for less than what they are worth because every day they get to watch you go to work for a company that values you. It is an amazing feeling to know my daughter can both see and feel this!

When I was first asked to write this blog, my reaction was something along the lines of, “Who would want to hear from me?” However, after thinking about it, I realized that as mothers we need to do more sharing of not only our highs but our lows, too. Life is hard. Being a parent is harder. Personally, I feel better when I hear another parent say, “Me too.” Now that I am a mother myself, my relationship with my grandmother has become even more meaningful, because I “get it.” I now understand the sacrifices she made not only at home, but at work, to keep everything running smoothly.

London, Ouma, and Sara.
Photo courtesy of Sara Banks.

As women, we often put our own needs aside for the needs of our family. Motherhood, as a result, can be a thankless job. My wish for every mother on this Mother’s Day – especially working mothers, single mothers, and mothers who are nurses – is to feel appreciated for all the things you do to make sure your children are living their best lives. Most of what we do is unspoken and we do it because our children are our worlds. I see and acknowledge the sacrifices you make, and I am putting the best vibes out to you in hopes that you receive them and feel supported and strengthened.

To anyone going through a storm in life right now, I ask you to remember that tough times don’t last – tough people do. Everyday may not be good, but find something good in every day!

Peace and all the love! – Sara


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