May. 20, 2015

Ashley Davis, Registered Nurse!

“I hold this symbolic light as a guide in my new profession. May its glow act as a constant reminder of the education and knowledge I have achieved. From this day on, I shall strive to enter eagerly into all opportunities to increase and expand my knowledge for the betterment of humankind. May this light guide the way for my hands to give comfort to the sick, ease their pain, provide tenderness, and help preserve life...May the glow of this flame be a continuous reminder of what I am. A baccaleaureate nurse.” Portions of the Nursing Pledge

Last Friday, May 15th, we were privileged to be witnesses to our granddaughter, Ashley’s, Pinning Ceremony, which took place in Bell Memorial Auditorium, School of Nursing, California State University Chico. Close to thirty members of Ashley’s family were there to see her receive her pin, and it left us all in tears of joy. Ashley has been working toward this goal for five years, first to complete college courses and then 2-1/2 years of actual nursing school. In her graduating class were thirty-nine other young, and some not so young, men and women. There should have been forty. Much of the Pinning Ceremony was devoted to the fortieth student, Christine, senselessly killed by a drunk driver. Christine was one of those people who was everyone’s friend, beloved by all, and her passing drew her classmates together to make them one of the most cohesive classes that the Nursing School teachers had ever seen. “We are a family,” was the statement expressed over and over. Christine’s parents were awarded the pins that she should have had.

Each graduate was joined onstage by the family members of their choosing, one of whom placed the ribbon bearing the pin over the graduate’s head, and stood with them, to congratulate, hug, kiss and be part of this once-in-a-lifetime moment as each new nurse’s dedication was read. All thanked family, husbands, wives, children, parents and many thanked God and expressed their intention to dedicate their careers to serving the sick in the name of Jesus Christ. One graduate expressed his intention to share his faith with his patients and we were just overwhelmed with the emotions of these people who have worked so very hard to achieve this goal. Also delighted that they could publicly and freely speak the name of Jesus!

We dined together, took dozens of pictures, hugged Ashley a million times and looked forward to the graduation, which was at 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning. Thankfully, it was a nice day and we were in bleachers with our backs to the sun. Directly over the stage was a banner declaring, “Today Decides Tomorrow!” Does it ever! The welcoming speaker began her remarks to the over two thousand graduates seated below her in their caps and gowns by saying, “You have received a Chico State Education!” Applause, cheers, and loud whistles greeted this statement. These graduates are proud! She was excellent and she was brief!

The Alumni Address was given by Lain I. Hensley, Chico State Class of 1993, College of Communication and Education. He started his address by asking, “Am I in the presence of greatness?” Mr. Hensley, co-founder and chief operating officer of Odyssey Teams, which develops philanthropic team-building programs for large corporations including the prosthetic hand-building program, Helping Hands, and the bicycle-building event LifeCycles is an inspirational speaker and corporate trainer with heavy emphasis on the inspirational. He let us know he was proud to be a Chico State graduate, he’d met his wife of some twenty years there, he lives in Chico, has his business there and is a ten year cancer survivor! Here’s another Hensleyism, “Up to now, you’ve been having lessons and then having tests. From here on out, this is LIFE where you get the test and then the lesson comes! And if you don’t get the lesson the first time, you get the test again and again till  you do!” True, right? “Be patient with yourself,” he said, and, “Will you make progress or excuses!” “Pick a good partner and be a good partner. Deep love and deep commitment can only be achieved by working at it. Work hard!”

He ended his address by saying, “I AM in the presence of greatness!” We knew we were, too. Two thousand plus young people walked by us Saturday, among them Registered Nurse, Ashley Davis. We were indeed in the presence of greatness.

“As I care for my patients today, be there with me, Lord, I pray. Make my words kind, it means so much, and in my hands place Your healing touch. Let Your love shine through all that I do, so those in need may hear and feel you.” A Nurse’s Prayer

Ashley will be an amazing nurse as her heart is filled with love and compassion and she has worked hard to become the best nurse possible.  We are all beyond proud! May God bless her and keep her, and make His face to shine upon her, and give her His thoughts and His guidance in all she does.