Estelline Sisters Make Work A Family Affair
by Phil McIlrath, KDLT News
September 13, 2012 3:33 AM
We've probably all heard the term taking care of the family business. But this group of siblings you're about to meet takes that to a whole new meaning.
At the Estelline Nursing and Care Center they seem to have it all. From a petting zoo, to this giddy quartet of sisters who all care for the residents.
"Every day is something different,"said Lyndsey Mack.
These four farmer's daughters are nurses or are on track to become one.
Abbie, the oldest, at 23 is an Registered Nurse, Lyndsey is on track to be an RN in the fall of 2013, Shaina will be an LPN this spring, and Mackenzie, the youngest of the group at 16 is a CNA.
"Whenever the Mack sisters are around you know it's going to be fun,"says Sherry Bjorklund.
But what may have started it all was no laughing matter. For Abbie, one day, years ago, her sister was in trouble. It was this day she discovered she might have a knack for taking care of others.
"It happened when I was three,"said Shaina. "I got bit by a dog."
"They were throwing rocks at the dog and it bit her and the skin had flapped over and it was big and gory,'said Abbie.
But while taking care of her younger sister might have been the catalyst into a nursing career for Abbie, for Lyndsey, it was a little different.
"I was close to graduating and I wanted to be a pediatrician and Abbie said,' why not try nursing and I may continue on,"said Lyndsey.
While most woulde say working with family is generally not a good idea. These four have no complaints and neither do the residents.
"They bring joy to all the residents and they love them,"said Bjorklund.
"It's so rewarding and just to be here with the residents and hear their stories from along time ago when they were my age,"said Abbie.
But that love for the residents can be bitter sweet. When life takes its course and they lose a patient, it can be devastating.
"You have to find out where the fine boundaries are and you just have to set those boundaries so you don't go through that grieving process every time,"said Abbie.
But it's not all sad, for these girls, for the most part the good times outnumber the tears, and with each shift change and the passage of time, those at the top are always wondering...
"Is there another sister,"said Bjorklund. "Is there another sister?"
Hoping to keep the torch burning for a family tradition of kindness and caring.
The Macks do have one more sister, named Courtney who is thirteen.
Right now, the girls say she is unsure of what she wants to be in the next few years.