September, 2008 Archive

September 10, 2008, 12:50 am

Brenda Gibson – One More Look Back




Brenda C. GibsonBrenda C. Gibson was a budget analyst for the Pentagon.

She loved her job.

She could have retired, but she chose to keep working.

She was so dedicated she postponed a major surgery.

She didn’t want her department to be short-staffed during the busy end of the budget year.

And so, Brenda C. Gibson got up that Tuesday morning, like she would have any Tuesday morning.

But it wasn’t just any Tuesday.

It was September 11, 2001.


Are you ready for some FOOTBALL??

Brenda was.

She loved her Washington Redskins and was known to sing the fight song on the phone to her four sisters after every touchdown.

(Her husband likes the Dallas Cowboys. Would have been fun to be a fly on the wall in that house during football season!)

“The Queen of Redskin Statistics”; a title bestowed to Brenda by her family.

But she also loved baseball and boxing. Mr. Gibson said she knew more about sports than he did!


How can you not love a woman who reads Mad Magazine and comic books?

At 59 years old!

Get out!

Her grand-daughter, Raven-Symone, will turn 10 this year.

Brenda adored her. Described her as her “heart and soul”.

I imagine Brenda was a pretty fun grandma to have around.


This year would have marked the Gibsons’ 42nd wedding anniversary, although they knew each other long before they graduated from Howard University.

Their son, Eric turns 41 this year.

Mr. Gibson said that Brenda cared for everybody, and did everything she could for her family. At the time of the attacks, Brenda’s mom had Alzheimers and her dad was in a nursing home.

It was said that if you could assign a word, a theme to Brenda’s life, that word would be “caring”.


Add a passion for old coins with a Buffalo Soldier collection to all that we already know about Brenda and you come up with one amazing lady.


Brenda C. Gibson was at her desk on September 11, 2001 when she was killed by terrorists flying hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon.

At the time, her husband was quoted as saying that he was trying to keep himself from being angry and bitter about the attack; that perpetuating anger from generation to generation won’t solve the problem.


Brenda, regrettably, I probably never would have met you in life. But I am honored to have been the person to represent you and to celebrate your life on this, the seventh anniversary of your departure from this earth.

If anyone in Brenda’s family is reading this or would like to add more information, please feel free to comment.

As for me, I’m trying my best to take Mr. Gibson’s advice to heart.

Rest in Peace, Brenda.

You are missed.

Hail to the
Hail Victory!
Braves on the warpath,
Fight for old D.C.!

Run or pass and score
We want a lot more!
Beat ’em Swamp ’em Touchdown
Let the points soar!

Fight on, Fight on,
Til you have won,
Sons of Wash-ing-ton!
Rah! Rah! Rah!


Thanks to The Washington Post, AP, and to Jonathan Pitts fromThe Baltimore Sun from whose articles this information was obtained.

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September 9, 2008, 3:57 pm

An Apple(quack) Grand Rounds!

I know, I know.

The actual theme of this week’s Grand Rounds over at is “The Sound of Music”.

But how could I resist a reason to use a photo of THE Apple on the blog?

After all, Dr. Cris writes about Apple and medical stuff, right?

And besides, I have a horrible confession to make.

“The Sound of Music” is not one of my favorite movies.

I’ve tried, really, I’ve tried.

Hubby says it’s because it doesn’t star Jeff Goldblum and/or Will Smith.

Yeah, right!


The next Change of Shift makes its appearance on September 18th at You can submit by using the (very handy) Blog Carnival link on the right sidebar or send your submissions to “emily at crzegrl dot net”. If you send them to me I will forward them on to Emily. Many thanks to Emily for hosting!


Don’t forget, the Healthcare Today contest for a blog makeover is still going on!

Submit healthcare articles from the web and vote for your favorites!


And now a word about mental health.


Kasey Kahne did not make the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Depressing, to say the least. So close, yet so far.

Oh, all is not lost – he can still win races.

He just can’t win the Sprint Cup.

So…for the next ten races we can watch as Tony Stewart throws his temper tantrums, Kyle Busch displays his arrogance and Jimmy Johnson acts like the trophy is already his.

Not that I’m bitter, or anything.

The only bright spot is that Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is in the Chase and I have a secret crush on him I like him a little.

I’m still pretty sure I’m responsible for Kasey getting into the All Star race in May, sitting up all night and voting in a lonely hotel room in North Carolina.

Hey, a girl can dream can’t she?

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September 6, 2008, 8:52 pm

If I Knew Then What I Know Now…

Holy cow!

I didn’t think my heart would hold out until the end of the game!!!!

Hardly a stellar performance, I must admit, but the IRISH WON!!!!!

I think I’m hoarse!

Time to go wash off the green body paint…

Just kidding….

But, in honor of the first of many Irish wins, I will continue the honored tradition of the last three years and proclaim my devotion to the hallowed halls of Our Lady of the Lake:

Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame,wake up the echoes cheering her name!

Send a volley cheer on high, Shake down the thunder from the sky!

What though the odds be great or small, Old Notre Dame will win over all!

While her loyal sons are marching, Onward to victory!

(now if Kasey Kahne can just make the Chase for the Sprint Cup….)


Don’t forget the contest at Healthcare Today, where you can win a professional blog design and consultation!  The important parts of the contest are (1) submit posts and, this is important, (2) vote for the posts you are reading. It’s the voting that will put the best posts at the top, including your own!

This really is one place where you can vote now and vote often!


I was asked this question recently by Advance for Nurses:

“If I knew then what I know now, what would I do differently?”

I decided to look at my career as an RN for my answer.


First, I would have waited until I was a bit older to begin my nursing education.  I had virtually zero life experience when I began my career at age 20.  Nursing requires a maturity that, frankly, I did not possess in 1978.  I was not only wet-behind-the-ears, but my ears weren’t even fully developed.

I was fortunate in that my first job was with extremely supportive nurses who wrapped me up in a nurturing cocoon and helped me morph into an actual nurse.  The older nurses were helpful, understanding and even stern, but I actually learned how to be a nurse from them.

With the younger nurses, I shared marriages, babies, showers, luncheons and concerts.  At one time we had four babies born five months apart!  One would come back from maternity leave as the other was getting ready to go!

I stayed there ten years.

I guess you could say I matured on the job, or at least was on the right path.


Second, I would have been less timid in nursing school.

I would have sought after and placed myself in the most challenging assignments.

I would have milked every bit of knowledge from my nursing instructors until they ran dry.

I would have appreciated the time, and the importance of what I was learning and who was teaching it to me.


Third, and please, no flames here,  I would have gotten my BSN as my entry level degree.

It would have served two purposes.

  • That maturity I was talking about? I would have had two more years of life under my belt before hitting the road as an RN.
  • I would not be trying so hard to obtain a BSN now, at the age of 51, in order to obtain an MSN so that I can teach.

You see, back then I could never have imagined myself wanting to do anything but hospital nursing.  (Hell, there were times during the last 30 years that I would have killed to do anything but nursing.)  I’m proud of my ADN and I know that ADN programs produce great nurses. But…

A BSN obtained back when I was young and before encumbered with other responsibilities would have given me the foundation I am now, belatedly, trying to build and put me in a better position for graduate studies.


So that’s it.

If I had the wisdom of my fifty-something self in my twenty-year-old body, this is what I’d do differently.

Because if I knew then what I know now, I’d be well on my way to my MSN!

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About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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