Mim with her kittens – quite a few years ago.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

[from “The Sound of Music” by Rodgers and Hammerstein]

One of my favorite words is “favorite.” Whenever I think about a favorite anything – song, person, food , place – I smile. I’m happy just thinking about that favorite thing, like my favorite ice cream – Edy’s French Silk, or my favorite place to go for a walk – CamRock Park, or my favorite aunt – Aunt Edith.

Last week a couple of my favorite cousins brought me two big boxes of music books – all the music that had belonged to Aunt Edith. I’ve just started going through the music. One of my favorite things to do is to go through old music and find old songs that will become new favorites.

Some of the first books I picked up from these boxes were from a series of nine books called, “Favorites – Gospel Songs, Solos, Duets, Trios” (Volumes One through Nine). The first book in the series was published in 1943, the ninth in 1981. I’m looking forward to tracing the evolution of “Favorites” in this “Singspiration” series across five decades.

Danny and Marian doing chores in the hay barn.

Another “favorite” that brings a smile to my face is my favorite Bible verse. Choosing that favorite is easy for me. When I was in grade school my mom made up charts for my brother and me. In today’s terms, they would be called spreadsheets, with the chores we were supposed to do down the left side and days of the week across the top. At the very top of the chart was a Bible verse. Each day, after we had done each chore, we were supposed to read the Bible verse and then check off the square for that day and chore. At the end of the week, if we could recite the Bible verse, we earned one point toward a prize. By the end of the month, if we had earned four points, my mom would give us a prize, usually a small toy. The first verse I memorized from this process was Ephesians 4:32: “Be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (I think my mom’s real motive in giving us this verse to memorize was to keep my brother and me from fighting.) This verse is my favorite Bible verse for a couple reasons – one, because I think its message is extremely important and something to remember – to be kind to each other; and two, because of my fond memories of our weekly work charts.

It’s fun to think of all different categories of favorites. All kinds of happy thoughts come to mind.

One reason the word “favorite” is on my mind these days is that Madison Magazine and WISC-TV (the local CBS affiliate) are doing a feature story on “Madison’s Favorite Nurses.” I never thought about who my favorite nurse was, although I guess it should be pretty obvious that my favorite nurse would be Mim. But I’ve learned that I’m not alone with having Mim for this favorite. Several family members of people Mim has cared for in our home nominated her for “Madison’s Favorite Nurse.” Mim was selected from among all the nurses nominated for this honor to be one of seven winners. A couple weeks ago Mim was interviewed for a short “Favorite Nurses” segment that will be aired on WISC-TV. Last week a photographer came to our home to take pictures of Mim at work in our home for the Madison Magazine article. Next month there will be a “Favorite Nurses Recognition” dinner. Mim is feeling quite honored.

Throughout November there’s an online “people’s choice” contest to select the #1 favorite nurse from among the seven favorites. If Mim is your favorite nurse, too, you can vote for her by going to www.MadisonMagazine.com and clicking on the box that says “Madison’s Favorite Nurses – 2012 People’s Choice – Vote Now.” Mim is delighted to have been selected as one of “Madison’s Favorite Nurses.” Each vote that she gets in the “People’s Choice Contest” makes her feel even more honored.

You may wonder what is so special about Mim that she is the favorite nurse of so many people. Madison Magazine quoted from one of Mim’s nomination letters on their website to explain why she’s a favorite.

Mim Jacobson is the personification of nurturing. She senses what people need and she supplies it. She turns her vast medical knowledge into everyday actions. She nurtures bodies and soothes souls. When curing is not possible she provides plenty of caring. She will always be my favorite nurse!

So, does Mim have any favorites? Mim has a favorite story about a woman she cared for who had Alzheimer’s.

I cared for her about three-and-a-half years. She never learned my name. However, one day when I went to pick her up from a respite day care center, as soon as she saw me, she said to her volunteer, “There’s my owner. She’s come to take me home.” That told me she felt safe and “at home” with me.

And finally, here’s one of my favorite pictures of Mim and Abbey at work with one of our favorite people – the one who called Mim her “owner.”

Now it’s time for you to think about some of your favorites – and smile.

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