Riverside East school nurse Shirley Long has many talents
Riverside East school nurse Shirley Long has a talent for taking care of her students when they have scrapes and pains and making them feel better. Long has many other talents including being a published poet, a singer/musician, and a seamstress.
She started writing poetry when she was a teenager. It seems Long has always had a gift for penning words for every occasion.
“A friend encouraged me and published a book of my poems entitled 'Thoughts from the Heart,' in 1996," Long said. “The poems are truly thoughts from my heart.”
Long, a native of Trumann, wrote a poem for then Governor Mike Huckabee and one for Arkansas, her home state. She was invited to deliver the framed poem and present it to the governor.
She also wrote poems for President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Chelsea and Socks. She received a letter from President Clinton thanking her.
She has written poems for special people including her daughter, her mother, her son, fire departments, the city of Trumann, and many others.
Her book sold out but at one time her books were being sold in Little Rock, Poplar Bluff, Books A Million and Hastings.
She has been asked to write eulogies and two of her poems are inscribed on tombstones at two different cemeteries.
Her poems were once featured in the Trumann newspaper. She would write poems for different occasions.
One of her poems, “Man's Best Friend,” hangs in an animal clinic in Jonesboro and another one, “Forever Friends,” is printed in a Trumann yearbook.
Excerpts from Long's introduction of her book shares her feelings...“Being a mother of five children, with different personalities, and some troublesome times in my life, have given me more insight into the human spirit. It made me realize that everyone in their lifetime will have bad times. If only I can do something in my lifetime to uplift and encourage them my work will not be in vain.”
...To all who read these lines, believe in God who gives life's blessings and pass his love and yours along to others. Believe in yourself and don't be afraid to follow your dreams. It is better for a dream not to come true, than not to dream at all....”
In recognition of Mothers Day, Long is sharing a poem she wrote to her mother and one she wrote for her daughter.
By Shirley Long
Where would I be without you in my life?
Who could I turn to, when I want to cry?
Who knew how to love me, when I was a little girl?
Who went through all the pain,
To bring me to this world?
Without you in my life,
A lonely place it would be.
And I hope that you will always, be here with me.
But time marches on, and I know,
That someday I'll have to let you go.
So thanks for the love you've given, all this time.
And please know that I love you.
Dear Mother of Mine.
My Daughter my Friend
By Shirley Long
When you were a little girl, you'd climb upon my knee.
And say, Mommy, would you please play with me?
You didn't like your veggies,
And you hated to take a nap,
And I felt a little sadness, when you outgrew my lap.
But as the years passed, you continued to grow,
until you became the woman, that I'm proud to know.
Our long talks and quiet times,
I've cherished through the years,
Each day you grow more special,
And I love to have you near.
I know I'll always love you, until the very end,
For I not only have a Daughter,
I also have a Friend.
“I have been blessed,” Long said.
Before becoming a nurse she was a disk jockey an the Marked Tree/Trumann radio stations, a job she enjoyed because she loves music. She has performed in Branson and at festivals throughout the area. She plays the piano, organ, accordion, and guitar. She and her daughter play at their home church.
Long is also a seamstress and enjoys crocheting. She does alterations and crafts.
She became a nurse in 1991 and has been with Riverside School for several years and enjoys her job and looks forward to each day.
Long said she has been busy through the years and for some reason quit writing years ago.
“I want to start it again,” she said. “I would like to write a book of Christian poems to encourage others.”
She is quick to encourage others to use their talent and share it with others.
“Everyone has a talent,” she said. “It may not be writing or singing but everyone has a gift to be used and shared.”