My handsome husband is coming home.
When he walks through the door tomorrow night, he will be just a few months short of spending fifty years in medicine. Fifty. He was a college freshman when he talked to his mother about becoming a doctor. “Fine,” she said, “If you want to become a doctor, start at the bottom.” (Literally)
So, he started working nights at the local hospital.
In those days, he was called an orderly, which meant he mostly emptied bedpans and cleaned up messes. I met him a few months later. We sat in Pizza Hut on our first date, and Wendell described his plan to become a country doctor. He wanted to take care of generations of people, and do it all for the love of helping people rather than for the goal of getting rich.
I signed on for the dream and the dreamer that night.
During our first year of marriage, Wendell became an EMT and worked on the county ambulance service. He eventually studied to become one of the first certified paramedics in the nation. For the next few years, he went to college, worked as a paramedic, and taught EMT classes around the region.
He often worked double shifts in those days and once went three months without a day off. (We do not recommend that lifestyle, in case you wondered.) He started medical school the year our third child was born and graduated when our fourth child was a toddler.
Now, nearly fifty years later, all the early dreams have come true.
Wendell did exactly what he set out to do. He has cared for three generations of many families and even reached into the fourth generation of a few. He has made house calls down the street, across the ocean, and into other nations. He has seen people brought back to life as he pumped their chests. And he has seen beloved patients slip away while he stood by to comfort. He has never stopped teaching, and he has never stopped learning.
From those first days as an orderly to these last years in a pandemic, Wendell’s motto has always been, “I am here to serve.” It is a Biblical concept, and one that applies to his roles as a son, husband, father, grandfather, and friend as well as a doctor and a deputy sheriff. That won’t change when he comes home.
We are stepping into a new day, a different season, a great unknown. But nothing will really change in our hearts. We know there will be new dreams to chase and new people to serve. But we may take a few days first to enjoy being together.
Beautifully written tribute to an amazing man and his chosen career path. I’m sure he will find a way to continue to serve. I remember talking to you after that first date, and you said, “I’m going to marry that doctor!” I’m so happy for you to go on this new adventure together.
Yes our family would be one of those 4 generations of families!
I’m so happy you remember that comment! I certainly remember feeling it.
This is a wonderful tribute to a wonderful man and to his wife who has served beside him. Best wishes on your new season. Love you and your contagious spirit.
Ah, thanks, my friend. You are such an encourager.
Woo hoo… It’s happening!!! We are so happy for you and your families! What an exciting time for you all! You never walk alone…
Awww! What a beautiful tribute to the decades of excellent care the Dr. Nickerson provided. I have a funny memory to share. I was living with Dale and Kaye and was in the process of moving to Tucson. I was terribly sick and Dr. Nickerson made a house call to give me some much needed medication. He was about to give me that “silver bullet” shot in the hip with I started getting antsy and was moving away. Dr. Nickerson looked at me over his glasses and said, “that’s it , lay in your side I can’t chase you with this needle!” I can’t remember who else was there that day, one of the girls from the Bible college – maybe Shannon or Michelle. Anyhow- it was funny.
Congratulations on 5 beautiful years of living that Country Doctor dream!
Oh, my goodness, Kellie! What a memory.
So exciting for both of you! What an amazing life he has had, so far!!! And, how wonderful to follow your dream and never give up! Congratulations and welcome home Wendell!
Thank you, Janis. It has been a wonderful ride, so far.
What an amazing life, helping so many peoples, around the world! Congratulations on a new chapter in your Book of Life!❤
That is a wonderful tribute to a great man. We will miss saying Dr Wendell Nickerson when ask who our primary dr is. We wish you both lots of happy times for many years to come. You will also be missed in our neighborhood.
Thank you, Nancy. We will certainly miss this little corner of the world. You all welcomed us so generously. I’m sorry the pandemic kept us from spending more time together.
He will be missed…but I am so excited to see where God will use him next….he was more of a doctor….he was and is a great source of encouragement….a true friend indeed! That you Doc Nick, and thank you Kathy for this wonderful tribute! May God continue to bless you and your family.
Thanks for your kind words, Russell, and your friendship. We really appreciate you and your family.
This is a wonderful tribute that brought happy tears to my eyes. God had a plan and Doc persevered. You, my friend, played a big part in his success in reaching the goal too. God has blessed you both. Much love on your new time together!
Thank you, dear Jody. All these kind comments are bringing tears to my eyes!!
I am so happy for you both. This is a wonderful tribute , Kathy. We all know he didn’t do it alone. You have been integral to his ability to serve wholeheartedly. Those of us who have benefited are grateful to you both. God bless you as you move into this new season. Much love., Chelsea
Thanks, Chelsea. We love you guys
We have known you both for many years and your parents and children (and Kathys Grandpa Adair). Wendall has been our doctor off and on for over 40 years and has a great bedside manner…more than most! He always gave accurate diagnosis. Love and prayers as you step into the next chapter of your lives. Love your kids too!!!!