Mama Told Me What to Do – My Victoria Hall Story (Kim Navaro ’77)
But, I didn’t listen. It was 1987, and Victoria Hall was about to come down to make way for an office building. My mom, the wise woman that she was, told me:“Honey, you should go down to school and get one of those bricks. Someday, you’re going to wish you had one.” She was so right. That brick would come to symbolize my formative years at Good Sam School of Nursing:checking in and out with Mrs. Runk, late-night rounds making sure all the doors to Victoria Hall were locked, hours in the library, hanging uniforms across the entrance announcing our graduation, sunning on the rooftop, meeting my future husband at the Halloween dance, making life-long friendships and growing up from an 18 year-old girl to young woman prepared to be the advocate for my patients. But at the time, I had a three year old and an infant. There was no way I was going to drag those kids down to Clifton to get a brick! But, I told mom, “Sure, I’ll go down and get a brick.” All the while knowing that wasn’t going to happen.
My mom died in 1992, and every time I drove down Clifton Avenue and saw GSH, her words played in my head: “Honey, you really ought to get a brick”. I heard her voice often,as I made frequent trips to Good Sam College for my work with the Alumni Association. My heart squeezed a little every time, and my own voice responded: “I should have listened”.I thought it was too late.
Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. On one of my visits to Good Sam College I found out something amazing: a few of the original bricks from Victoria Hall were still available through the Alumni Association and with a donation, I could have one. Hallelujah!!! I couldn’t buy a brick fast enough. I went home and dug around in my treasure box. I pulled out the last birthday money my Dad had given me before he died. I had been hanging onto that money for a long time because spending it on a massage, a blouse or some costume jewelry just didn’t seem right. I had to buy something precious. Now I knew just what to spend that money on..my Victoria Hall brick!
Today,that brick sits up on my mantle where I can see it every day. Now, when I drive down Clifton Avenue and see GSH, I hear myself saying, “Mom, I didwhat you told me to do. I have a brick.” And she replies, “Good job, honey” and my heart squeezes a little.