Opening Scene: Birth
Rensselaer County Small Claims Court, September 17, 1954
Judge: Hello little girl. What is your name?
June: June Hannay
Judge: And how old are you?
June: I am five.
Judge: I like your red dress.
June: My Mom picked it out. She likes red. I like blue.
Judge: Well, it is very pretty. Do you know why you are here?
June: Yes, I need a birtificate so I can go to school. I like school.
Judge: Well let’s see what I can do about that, okay?
Judge: I have here the hospital record from Samaritan Hospital of one Elizabeth Hannay for when she gave birth to an 8-pound 11-ounce baby girl on June 9th, 1949 at 6:11 PM. Since the obstetrician of record is no longer alive, I am looking for the two nurses who witnessed the birth per the chart to come forward and confirm their presence at the birth.
Mrs. Snow: I am Mary Ellen Snow, RN and I witnessed the birth and that is my signature. I remember Mrs. Hannay’s long labor very well.
Mrs. Murphy: Your honor, I am Jennifer Murphy. I was the delivery room nurse on the evening of June 9th. I do not remember the birth, but that is my signature confirming that I was there for the birth of the Hannay baby girl.
Judge: I see no reason why the County of Rensselaer should not issue a birth certificate for June Hannay on this day, September 17th, 1954. Gavel sound.
Closing Scene: Death
Chapel, Oakwood Cemetery, May 27th, 2037
Joanne: “Many years ago, June asked me to give the eulogy at her Memorial Service. This was back in the 1980’s after I taught renal physiology for the critical care nurses at the VA. You see, June oriented me to the dialysis unit and wanted to expand my duties, so she asked me to teach that part of the renal orientation. After, I got started, she went to the ladies’ room. When she got back, I was done with my lecture. She felt that anyone who could teach renal physiology in 15 minutes could give a short eulogy and not bore attendees, so here I am.
As you all know, June had a sense of humor. She liked to lie about her age. Sometimes, she would subtract 5 years. When people did not believe her, she would provide her delayed birth certificate with the date of September 17th, 1954 at the top. Other times, she would add 5 years to her age. She said she liked it when people told her how young she looked for her age.
June practiced nursing for 52 years. June loved to sing to her patients while putting needles in to initiate dialysis. June, however, as the saying goes, could not hold a note even if she had a bucket. She sang so badly, the patients did not feel the large needles being placed. Her memoir, “Always a Nurse” contains many funny stories of things that happened with patients. Her other memoir, “Water Stories” reveals hilarious incidents that happened with her dad. The story about making donuts and messing up the kitchen is a winner. “Junisms”, her third and final memoir contains essays on how June saw the world. Her essays on the pandemic of 2020 are especially light hearted.
She loved to garden and often said she grew weeds best. Dandelions were a cause of frustration for her. When the VA opened a day care center, June suggested the name “Dandy Lion Day Care” and won a prize. Her favorite color was blue.
Gene Pitney was June’s favorite singer and “The Wizard of Oz” was her favorite movie. Her dining room was decorated with Oz plates and other collectibles.
June hated the movie “The Sound of Music”, the color pink and most foods that kids love such as peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese and tuna noodle casserole. She never put milk on her cereal.
June collected teapots and buttons. When she was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, she laughed and told me she was losing her buttons. Sadly, she did not loose her life because of the Alzheimer’s, but from lung cancer caused by the radiation she was given to cure the breast cancer she had in her 60’s.
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “By, By, Miss American Pie” sung by Don McClean were June’s favorite songs and I suggest we sing them now to honor her.”