Stamina -- Staying power, energy, endurance, resistance, resilience, strength, determination, vigor, fortitude, grit!

WOW! What a powerful word, stamina…who speaks of it much these days? Not too many in my circle of life-I guess because not too many possess this attribute.

Perhaps it would do well to write a short story about a lady with stamina. It seems taken for granted that surely men possess this trait, but women, umm, well that may be another story.

Okay, let’s see what we can conjure up tonight! Fiction, of course! As one person said one time, surely a woman of this magnitude would be a fierce some creature to behold! But then again, you may know one who possesses this trait…


She was a little lady, when I say little, I mean short in stature, not much in weight, but full of stamina! How could you tell? Well, for one thing her name-Millicent! Yes, her name meant stamina, and as she grew from a child she manifested this trait.

Millicent played with every child in the neighborhood and was always competitive in her spirit. If they were playing UNO or OLD MAID, she wanted to win and would not give into quitting until she had won the most games. If they were running a footrace, she wanted to run the fastest. If they were playing board games, she wanted to be the best.

In class at school Millicent was the same way. Her goal was to be the last one standing when everyone else fell by the wayside after running laps around the gym.

Even though she did not understand her nature, it was evident that Millicent was a cut above the rest. Why? Because she was determined to live up to her name, even though at the time she did not know there was any relevance to her name. As a matter of fact, she had told her mom more than once that she did not like her name-Millicent. What kind of name was that anyway?

Mom would always smile and assure Millicent that one day she would appreciate her name. That was to come true in her older years.

Dad called her ‘silly Millie’ and she did not object because she was a daddy’s girl from the get go. He called her ‘monkey, screwball, little bit, punkin’ and she always laughed at his cute little nicknames for her.

Millicent never accepted status quo. If her friends tired of playing and wanted to go watch tv or play with their ipods, she was always out to do more than they would do. Some of her friends were jealous, because Millicent never seemed to tire of competition.

Her mom even considered taking her to a doctor because she was convinced that Millicent had ADHD. Dad did not agree. He could see that what Millicent was doing was actually preparing herself for her future.

When she started high school, soccer was her goal. She played the game with such eagerness that every coach in the area wanted her on his team. It didn’t matter that she was usually the ‘runt’ in the bunch; her characteristics displayed her determination to conquer!

After high school, Millicent decided to go to a college out of town, to get away from home. Even though she had a wonderful relationship with her mom and especially her dad, it seemed that she wanted to try her wings in a new arena.

Neither mom nor dad were thrilled with her decision but, accepting her as the determined young lady she had become, they consented.

Her first year proved to be tough because of peer pressure. Refusing to be like the crowd, Millicent dug in her heels and stayed with the books. She was in at night with her nose in the books when her friends were out partying and getting high on alcohol and drugs. What a waste! She would think to herself. There has to be more to life than that kind of stuff, so she kept her discipline and perspective in focus for her benefit.

As graduation day approached, Millicent felt proud of her accomplishments for the four hard years she had put in for her future as a nurse. She was the valedictorian of her class as she carried a 4.0 through all four years.

Mom and dad were thrilled as they watched their ‘silly Millie’! As she stood before the large crowd and proclaimed that life was to be ‘an adventure to be lived, an experience to be had, and a purpose to be found’ they found it hard to remain in their seats. Millicent concluded with the statement that as she left the corridors of what would be her great alma mater, ‘pursuing the plan and purpose’ for her life would be uppermost in her goal setting. With that, the crowd applauded and stood to their feet.

Millicent went right into nursing and loved the life of service to others. She found that in helping others there was fulfillment to her own life emotionally that she had not realized before while in college. During her college years her focus was on herself, doing her best, being her best, but now her focus had changed.

She began to see that indeed life was an adventure to be lived, an experience to be had, and a purpose to be found.

Not long into her newfound profession, she met a young doctor named Adam. He loved being a doctor as much as she loved being a nurse. So they immediately found a comradeship to work as a team.

After working with Adam awhile, Millicent decided that she wanted more than just to be a nurse. He had instilled in her the desire to do all she could to preserve life. So, after not too much deliberation, Millicent found herself back in school to become a doctor, and not just a doctor, but a surgeon.

Eight years of diligence found Millicent with knife in hand and doing heart surgery almost weekly. She landed her first internship at Emory Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, and from there was afforded a position at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, her dream come true!

Life was abounding for Millicent, and as time passed, she became one of the most impressive surgeons in the hospital. Her life was spent for the cause of healthcare and she did not bat an eye at working overtime. Her goal was not a financial gain as much as it was a psychological gain-to be the best.

It took stamina, fortitude, endurance, strength and determination to accomplish her goals in life. After all, she was beginning to live the meaning of her name!

One night after retiring from a rigorous 46 hours schedule, mom called to tell her that her dad was not well.

Millicent’s knees buckled under her at the thought of losing her most precious critic, her dad! Mom assured her that it was just a bout with influenza, but Millicent felt within herself that it was more involved.

She caught the first flight out the next day to find her dad breathing his last breaths when she arrived. Terrified, she cuddled him in her arms and told him he was going to be all right. Denial was her best friend at this time, and as he grew limp in her arms, she fell across his lifeless body, sobbing uncontrollably. Her mom joined the scenario as the two of them mourned this sudden loss. How would life go on without dad, without this one who had been her cheerleader, who believed in her ability to accomplish whatever she put her hand to do? Now she was finding herself everything but determined, strong, resilient.

After the funeral, mom decided to go home with Millicent for awhile to get her house in order. Decisions had to be made, serious decisions now that seemed so trivial in days gone by.

It seemed life became a totally different arena for Millicent during this time of grieving. She found herself preoccupied at work, bringing rebuke from her superiors. When she offered excuses for her slackness, it was not acceptable.

She was written up for being insubordinate on one occasion and when approached about taking a leave of absence, she consented.

When Millicent went home, she explained her situation to her mom. Mom readily agreed that they both needed some ‘time away’ to decide their next level in life.

They took a trip to England, watched the changing of the guards, enjoyed the interaction with the English and Irish peoples of the areas in which they visited, and found a new outlook on life while there.

Millicent went to one of the local hospitals to inquire of their need of a heart surgeon. Much to her surprise, she was greeted warmly by the head surgeon. He told her he could put her to work immediately if she were willing to relocate.

Millicent went back to the hotel and told her mom of the opportunity. Mom smiled and told her she had already felt that it would do them both good to stay in London for awhile.

Millicent accepted the position and went to work the next week. Surely the essence of timing was in her favor, and mom found a part-time job as well.

They busily worked through their grief to acceptance and found life to be exactly what they both needed in their newfound home.

Mom reminded Millicent of the times she had told Millie that one day she would appreciate the meaning of her name. Yes, truly Millicent had proven to herself that she was made of stamina!

Life once again became meaningful as she accepted herself in this light!