Some have suggested over the years that the meaning of the name Debra, is actually “lover of shoes”. The truth is that shoes are in my DNA – on my mother’s side ….. Her father, my grandfather, was a bootmaker and later had a shoe repair shop. Pop Wood then progressed to having shoe stalls at many of the markets around Melbourne. My uncle took over his business and my first after school job (at a very young age) was working in the shoe shops. Yes, I do love shoes.
This introduction leads to another tale related to my early nursing career. In a particular decade of my career – arguably the halcyon days of my health professional and personal life, I was employed at Prince Henry’s Hospital. Sadly, that institution has long been bull dozed and ritzy apartments now stand on that ground. In those days when you commenced at a new hospital you were offered a weeklong hospital orientation/induction program. Orientation was intended to introduce one to the policy and procedures of that particular organisation. Of course, one was also advised of the uniform code and what was acceptable. The uniform at PHH was a white uniform for RN’s, with white “regulation” nursing shoes.
From day 1 there was a glamazon sitting opposite me. She had a sophistication and an aura that from the first moment I saw her told me “I was not in her league”. I was not sure I would be able to relate to her. Even in her nurses uniform she looked like she stepped from a glossy mag.
Mid way through day 3 of the orientation week, she walked straight up to me, pointed into my face and said “You have worn 3 different pair of work shoes in three days – and none of them are regulation nursing shoes. I think we will be friends!”
So begun a #galpal love and friendship that is stronger today than it ever was. Nearly 4 decades later – we still get the shoe thing that is a special connection between us.
Belinda “Bella” Henkel is one of my besties.
#galpals #loveofshoes #besties #challengingregulations #memories #friendshipbeginnings