“I lost my original favorite, remarkable woman, my mom, to a radical disease, and yet, I gained my forever favorite remarkable woman, my forever love.”
This nomination for News 2’s Remarkable Women contest reads like a love letter.
“I did not know what she looked like. Her voice was saying something devastating to me about my mom needing hospice and was soon passing, and yet I fell in love with her soul instantly. Love at first sight? Love at first voice!”
One phone call changed Matthew Humphrey’s life forever.
“I asked her point-blank, I said, is my mom going to die? And she goes, yes. And I said, is it going to be quick? She goes, yeah, she’s got this rapid disease,” Matthew recalled. “That was like a baseball in my head.”
The woman on the other end of that call, Cindy, who delivered that heartbreaking news, would later become his wife.
“I was his mom’s hospice nurse. And after she passed, we were engaged,” Cindy Humphrey said. “She was feisty and spunky. And she said you’re going to marry my son. I just know it.”
Come to find out, mother really does know best.
“We haven’t left each other’s side since then,” Cindy said. “We were married four months later.”
Matthew said one reason he nominated Cindy was to shine a light on a profession of unsung heroes.
“It takes a very, very special individual to become a hospice nurse,” Matthew said. “Not only the treatment that they give, or that she gives, or all of the hospice nurses give to the patient who is dying, or as they say, transitioning. The support, they give the family around, because those are the people left standing.”
“I get to know the patient, where they came from, their family, how they grew up, where they’re at right now in their life, and how I can make this part of our life even better,” Cindy said.
Cindy said being a hospice nurse is the hardest job she’s ever loved, other than being a mom to her 11-year-old daughter Hannah.
“She gives me the ability to be myself, to not just be mom, but to also be mom, the nurse,” Cindy said. “You cannot go into this without having some kind of dedication. You have to be willing to sacrifice a part of yourself.”
Matthew said that’s both her greatest weakness and her greatest strength.
“I’ve always tried to tell her to set your boundaries because she will get completely wrung out like a sponge. I love it. And it but it also frustrates me, but it’s probably her best attribute,” he said.
Cindy has a full plate and a full heart.
“I’m almost 40; I’ve never felt as free. I’ve never been so happy. I’ve never been so driven, not only to be family driven but career-driven, just to be.”
To be, a remarkable woman to her husband, her daughter, and her patients.