When Frederick left church, it wasn't his guardian angel who was watching…
Natalie Martin was born at home to Claude and Betsy Martin on September 30, 1950. She was exposed to scarlet fever at two weeks old and was one of a handful of newborns who survived the sickness. It left her heart with scar tissue, and she was a sickly child.
Natalie saw a lot of the doctors for her first five years of life, and she absolutely adored her doctor's nurse. She began to play "nurse" when she was four years old, and she "treated" everyone who would let her. Nat got extra ice cream sticks from the ice cream man and used them to check people's throats. Her nickname became Nurse Nat.
Natalie was a good child and never got into any trouble. She volunteered at the local hospital when she was 13 and became a candy striper shortly thereafter. All the doctors and nurses at the hospital loved her and said they wished they had 10 more just like her. No one was surprised when she announced her plans to go to nursing school.
She received an academic scholarship for 2/3 of her tuition, and the hospital gave her a scholarship for the rest with one condition; she must maintain a 3.7 GPA. She worked very hard and graduated near the top of her class. Natalie was hired right out of school to work at the hospital in Oxford, Mississippi.
She had worked at Baptist Memorial for 20 years when a new doctor came to the hospital. This new doctor kept asking out the still-single Natalie, and finally she accepted. She fell hard for Dr. Mark Thomas, and they dated for several years.
Natalie often wondered why Mark was out of town so much, but she was devastated when she found out it was because he had a family in another state. She knew he had secrets, but she never suspected they included a wife and children. She immediately broke off the relationship. She also quit her job at the hospital because she couldn't handle seeing him every day.
She soon found employment at the Yoknapatawpha Acres nursing home as the head nurse. Her heart was broken but her desire to nurse was still as strong as ever, so she buried herself in her work. She was disappointed to find that the philosophy at Yoknapatawpha Acres was different from the one at the hospital. Many of her fellow employees were more interested in their paychecks than in being the best they could be.
She wasn't as happy working at the nursing home as she had been at the hospital, but she told former co-workers at the hospital that the Yoknapatawpha Acres residents really needed her. Natalie very seldom smiles these days, and she hasn't dated anyone since the doctor.