A Nurse with a Gun

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Miss Myra's Gun

Miss Myra had never been afraid of what the future held. When she was a child of eleven years, her father had handed her a revolver and instructed her to take care of her little brother and sister while he went to look for work. He never returned. For her, the future was always uncertain, but she knew it would come regardless, so she had no fear. When she reached her 89th year, she knew she could no longer live on her own, and she would have to go into a nursing home. She called me to come get the one thing she had held dear all of those years, her talisman against the dark and unknown future. Miss Myra gave me the gun her father had given his young daughter. She said she could not keep it, and she would not need it where she was going. She refused to let me pay her for it. I accepted her kind gift with reverence. I felt so undeserving, but Miss Myra told me she only wanted me to have it.

Miss Myra's gun is a Smith & Wesson M&P 4th Change in 32WCF. It still held five cartridges, which I removed that afternoon. Miss Myra had never fired the gun, but it made her feel safe all of her life. It was the one connection to the man who made her feel safe and had disappeared into the Great Depression.

Miss Myra's gun may be a rust flecked anachronism in an obsolete caliber to some, but to me it is very special. As I hold it, I am reminded of a brave little girl, who left school and got a job in the fields to support her two siblings. I am reminded of a young woman who saw her true love go to war and never return. I am reminded of a woman who went to the big city to make a life for herself from nothing, who eventually fell in love again, married, and who ran a greater distance with her life than most people can contemplate. Miss Myra never did give up. To give up was to die.

It worried me that day, when she gave me her revolver. It had meant so much to her, and to face the unknown in a nursing home without it must have been frightening. I went to see her the next day, to make sure she was OK. She was adjusting well, smiling and playing dominos. A week later, Miss Myra was gone. She was right, she did not need her Daddy's revolver where she was going. Sleep well Miss Myra, sleep well.

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20 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

my great grandmother put up a fight when she had to give up "Betsy" when she entered the nursing home. Ol Betsy was a little derringer that kept her safe in the backwoods of Texas.

6:54 AM  
Anonymous Jay G said...

Xavier, you really ought to think about compiling these stories. Would make for one heckuva powerful book...

7:59 AM  
Blogger Mr. Completely said...

That's a beautiful story, very well written. I wish I could tell a story half as well....

.......Mr. C.

10:20 AM  
Blogger Water said...

Man... You are the Word Smith! That was an incredible story. My grandmother past away six months ago and I can really identify with this.

Thanks

..... Water

12:05 PM  
Blogger Tennessee Budd said...

God keep you, Miss Myra.
Damn you, Xavier, big hardcore bikers aren't supposed to get all misty-eyed at work. So much for my image.

12:20 PM  
Anonymous freddyboomboom said...

That is a treasure beyond words.

It was her trusted companion for all those decades.

She obviously thought very well of you.

Just... Wow.

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sheds a tear after reading that story... and isn't one bloody bit ashamed about it

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Harp said...

Clean it up and try it out. I have two old guns one of my uncles gave me before he died. It took two years and $1800 to get an old Colt lighting restored. It will be passed on to another generation.

10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well-written and it brings tears to my eyes. Rest well, Miss Myra. Look up Velma if you get a chance.

12:54 AM  
Blogger 服從到只一 A.K.A: Sugar Cat said...

Thank you for sharing Xavier! Definitely very touching! And who knows, she might be playing dominos with my father as we speak!

8:10 PM  
Blogger Isaac PC said...

Hands down the best "gun story" I've ever heard. Very well-written. Gives us all something to think about.

+1 on writing a book full of these stories. We need stuff like this on the market where anyone can pick it up and be influenced by it.

8:26 PM  
Blogger phlegmfatale said...

What a lovely, touching post. Thanks for sharing, and God bless Miss Myra.

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Both, My father and my father-in-law passed away in a hospital. Both were esxpected y everyone to recover from their conditions and be home shortly. I remember visiting each of them. They both said that the "wanted to go home".

And they both did. never leaving the hospital. Sometimes you just know.

11:45 PM  
Blogger Brian <> said...

God bless the Mis Myras of this world, enjoy the gun while you remember her.

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Ramius said...

My Grandma asked for a pistol after my Grandfather was killed on his Case 470 Farm Tractor. Dad got her a H & R .22LR 9-shot revolver. She took great pride in shooting the crows that marauded her garden with it, and soon the vandalism and 'dissapearance' of tools around the farm stopped. That pistol, and Grandpa's Remington Nylon 66, are mine now. They are lovingly cared for, and one day will be passed along to the next generation.

10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Xavier
God bless you.
Dean

10:35 PM  
Anonymous Monica Ricci said...

What a lovely and touching entry Xavier. Miss Myra was kind to give you her precious gun and you are kind to honor her in this way. Bless you. ~Monica

4:46 PM  
Blogger DouginSalcha said...

Concur with "jay g" - I also think you ought to write/compile a book of these entries.

Most people who write books "about guns" don't know the things that you seem to know by instinct.

Also concur with "tennessee bud" in that I wish I did't "mist up" (makes it difficult to finish reading the comments)...

4:13 PM  
Blogger Tessa said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Ruth

http://besttoddler.com

9:17 PM  
Blogger Jarubla said...

wow, what a beautiful post. Please, please, please find a publisher and get a book out there!

-Jay

9:31 PM  

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