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THE RED GLASSES
Maggie Hopkins is a neonatal ICU nurse who lives in Glen Rock with her daughters, now grown, and her husband Rob Markowitz. They have two congenial guinea pigs.
I picked out these funky red glasses because really, if I’m going to have glasses on all the time, might as well make it the most fun. I actually have a few different pairs, but the red ones are my favorites. They are the ones people know me for.
I'm a nurse. I work in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) with the tiniest humans on earth.
One night, I got to work, and the charge nurse told me my assignment had been changed from the night before. I asked what I did wrong, and she said it wasn’t that. Actually, quite the opposite.
She said that the mom of Baby A was not happy with some of the nurses assigned to her baby, so they let her make a list of particular nurses that she felt would be better at following his care. I was the only one on her list who was there that night, so they wanted to be responsive and assign me to him as soon as possible.
I'm thinking, there must be some mistake here, because I had never actually taken care of Baby A. The charge nurse said there was no mistake.
When making out her list, Baby A’s mom asked for the nurse with the big red glasses. Even though I had never taken care of her son, the mom had watched me interact with my co-workers. She liked how I was a calming presence and she wanted that for her son.
Some nurses get awards. Some are terrific at IV (intravenous) sticks. I am – and want to be – the person she requested.
I can think of no greater honor than this mom requesting me to take care of her baby. You see, Baby A was born with some life-limiting issues. He only managed to stay with us on this earth for 45 days.
I am blessed that I got to know him. In that time, he smiled at me. All the challenges he had to face, and he still managed to smile at me. He liked music and giraffes. He liked snuggles.
After Baby A passed, his mom brought in gifts for us, his friends at the NICU. She got me a giraffe-shaped glasses holder. Giraffe - for her boy, and Glasses - for me. It was perfect. 🦒