From the time she was a Candy Striper at the age of seventeen, my sister-in-law, Jennifer Parmely knew that she wanted to be a nurse…a Labor and Delivery Nurse, to be exact. After graduating from high school, she set out to begin her journey to make that dream happen. She became a nurse and was hired at what is now Banner Wyoming Medical Center in Casper. Jennifer was in her element, and so began a 45-year long career. She continued her education to the point where she could have a supervisory position and teach classes to fellow nurses, but her first love was being there when new babies were born. She was there when each of my grandchildren, Chris Petersen, Shai Royce, Caalab Royce, and Josh Petersen were born, as well as many other people I know. My girls, Corrie Petersen and Amy Royce were grateful to have their aunt there with them, as was I.
February 28, 2023, marked the end of Jennifer’s career, when she retired from nursing to pursue her other loves, hiking, bicycling, skiing, traveling (mostly to hike), and spending time at the cabin she and her partner, Brian Cratty own on Casper Mountain, and of course, time with her grandchildren, Reagan, Hattie, Bowen, and Maeve Parmely. We couldn’t be happier for Jennifer, but I find myself wondering how Banner Wyoming Medical Center has changed since her departure. Let’s face it, Jennifer was a fixture at that hospital. She worked during deliveries, sometimes even being the one to actually deliver the baby. She took care of babies after their birth, and in the nursery. She took care of the moms after they had given birth. And, inevitably, she was there when some babies didn’t make it. Mostly Labor and Delivery is a happy place, but when moms or babies are lost, it becomes the very saddest of places.
Now, those hands that helped deliver babies have other jobs to pursue…or maybe no jobs at all. She will still get to hold babies, of course, because our family is always growing. In fact, I have two great grandbabies on the way right now. Jennifer will have the opportunity to hold these new little ones, but no more deliveries…unless she comes upon an emergency situation somewhere, that places her back in the position of delivering a baby. Actually, we hope that never happens, because it is traumatic for everyone, but if it did, the mommy and baby would be blessed if Jennifer were the one helping. I’m sure the hospital and all of her co-workers miss her very much, but she is on to new adventures. Today is Jennifer’s birthday. Happy birthday Jennifer!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Many things changed on the day, Jennifer Schulenberg Parmely, my sister-in-law, was born. No, it wasn’t something that she or her parents did, but rather in the world. On this day, April 12, in 1961, the year Jennifer was born, the world saw it’s very first manned space flight. That was the day that the Race to Space ended with Russia putting the first man in space. That man was Yuri Gagarin. The United States had hoped to win that race, but we were not ready to put our first manned space flight into space for another month. I’m sure that all this meant nothing to Jennifer, or her parents, Walt and Joann Schulenberg, but it is, nevertheless, a historical fact, and it happend on the day she was born.
Jennifer grew up, and became the mother of three boys, Barry, JD, and Eric. There was hope that she would have a daughter, but that was not to be. It seemed to be some kind of tradition in the Schulenberg family…at least with the grandchildren and great grandchildren. Whatever the first baby was, the others in that family were the same. The only one to break that tradition to date is my daughter Amy Royce, who managed to have a girl and then, shocker…a boy. All the others in the family have one or the other. That didn’t leave Jennifer much hope of having a granddaughter either, but Eric and his wife, Ashley broke with the boy tradition in Jennifer’s family and had two girls, Reagan and Hattie. They still kept with the tradition of what the first one is the others are too, however. Of course, there is always a possibility that they will try again for the boy, and maybe…just maybe, they will succeed like Amy did. Until that time, Jennifer is enjoying the little girls she never got to have, and that is very nice for her, because they are little sweeties, for sure.
Jennifer is a nurse at Wyoming Medical Center, and has worked there since she was just seventeen. She started as a Candy Striper, and after college, was hired in the Obstetrics department as a nurse. She has always loved newborn babies, and this way she gets to see lots of them, but the good news is that she can hold them and then give them back to their mothers, because as most mothers know, there is a time to have your babies, and a time to be the one to just spoil those babies and let their parents handle the fallout. It’s called being the grandma, and believe me, it’s awesome, as any grandmother will tell you. Today is Jennifer’s birthday. Happy birthday Jennifer!! Have a great day!! We love you!!