story and photo by Vickie Jenkins
Meet Melanie Hemry, retired nurse from the medical field, spending 20 years at Baptist Hospital in Oklahoma City, OK. Being a nurse didn’t stop at the hospital though. She used her nursing skills to do mission work in downtown OKC and on several occasions, joined others on a medical team to travel to Jamaica to take care of the less fortunate. “People would walk for miles to get medical care,” Hemry said. Being a nurse was her first career.
Hemry has an interesting story of how she became a nurse. “When I was little, I was an avid reader. I loved to read and couldn’t seem to get enough of it. I was in 7th grade at a skating rink in Duncan, OK when one of the skating instructors said she was going to go to college to be a writer. I had always wanted to be a writer. No one in my family had ever gone to college. We didn’t have any college money. I had it figured out though. At the time, I was allowed to go to school half a day and work half a day. I would work and save enough money (fifty cents an hour) and go to college to be a writer. The only job available for me in Duncan, OK was a job at Duncan Regional Health Center, as a nurse’s aide. The first day of my job was awful! I went home crying, wanting to quit. My mother told me to stick it out for 3 months and if I still didn’t like it, then, I could quit. Things went well. After 3 months, I loved my job at the hospital!”
I still had a deep desire to be a writer. Every day, I would find a quiet place, sit under a shade tree with pencil and paper and write, write, write! One day, I heard a message from God, You will go into nursing and later, you will be a writer.”
“To my surprise, I was offered a scholarship and went to Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, OK to become a nurse. I graduated in 1970 and went to Baptist Hospital and stayed there for my nursing career.” Now, Hemry is a best-selling author and continues to write.
“What inspires you when you wake up every morning?” I ask Hemry. “I think it is the fact that I have never been bored and I know there are so many things that I haven’t learned or experienced. I want to see what’s new and what is waiting for me,” she replies.
Describing herself, Hemry replies, “I think learning is so interesting and I can’t wait to learn more.” Her hobbies include reading, writing, traveling, cooking and spending time with her family. “It’s kind of funny, I love to write all day and I read myself to sleep every night,” she laughs.
Asking Hemry if it is true what they say about nurses, ‘once a nurse, always a nurse,’ she replies, “Yes, once you become a nurse, your nursing skills never leave you. Once, I was in a restaurant and heard someone choking. I jumped over several people, running across the restaurant to do CPR on the child,” she said. “I am so glad I was there at that time. Those skills stay with you forever,” she added.
“I always tell people that I enjoy both of my careers, nursing and writing. I enjoy helping people. If I gave anyone advise on any job they set out to do, I would tell them to keep learning, try your hardest and don’t be afraid to explore new adventures,” Hemry comments. “My words to live by? Be true to God and be true to yourself.”
Melanie Hemry continues to hold writing conferences, and is host for several writing groups. She has written 6 books under her own name. Those books are: A Healing Touch: The Power of Prayer and Hugs for Single Moms, Anointing for Protection, Anointing for Healing, Anointing for Children and Anointing for Salvation. She has also ghostwritten 48 books.
Melanie Hemry will be one of the main speakers at the Write Well, Sell Well, Writer’s Conference on October 23-24, 2015 at Crossings Community in Oklahoma City, OK. For more information, go to www.WriteWellSellWellokc.com
story and photo by Vickie Jenkins