By Cristina DC Pastor
Who hasn’t met the husband of a nurse? We know him, he is in our circle of friends. We ask ourselves and sometimes wonder how he feels about his unconventional role in the family.
In the Philippines, he was probably an engineer, an accountant, the manager in an office or the foreman in a warehouse. He is used to giving orders and earning a good salary that allows his family to live comfortably. In the U.S. the gender roles have shifted. His wife is now the breadwinner of the family. He becomes the stay-at-home parent while the wife is regarded as the one “wearing the pants.”
Dely Go, Grand Marshal of the Philippine American Friendship Community, Inc., has met many such husbands in the course of her decades-long career as a nurse who became a nurse educator and is now the president of Nursing Network, LLC, a company that provides nursing staff to more than 35 facilities for New Jersey’s elderly population.
She shared this story at the PAFCOM Gala: One evening as she was preparing to go to bed, she got a call from one sobbing husband.
He said: “I’m the one who takes the children to school, does grocery shopping, cooks meals for the family, and drives the family to their appointments. I help the students with their homework. She has very little time left for the family. How long must we go on like this?”
Dely invited him to the hospital where his wife worked. The two met there the next day. She showed the husband how his wife diligently assists the elderly doctor who is her boss, how she shuffles from floor to floor to carry out his instructions, how she has been entrusted with the huge responsibility of caring for patients and how she efficiently delivers results. In short, the husband watched how his wife was trying to save lives. Right there, he understood why certain sacrifices had to be made if there is a nurse in your family.
Why Dely chose to share this story at the PAFCOM Gala on May 20 appears to be her way of recognizing the husband’s crucial role in the family and how he is regarded as a co-equal and not the lesser partner. It was also her way of illustrating the Filipino qualities of resilience, staying positive, and making sacrifices as they “adapt to new environments.”
“It is this resiliency that has allowed us to thrive in the face of challenges, to adapt to new environments,” she said to a crowd of affluent Filipino Americans gathered at the Marriott Hotel in Newark. By staying positive, she said, “we not only uplift ourselves but also create a supportive and encouraging environment for others.”
Dely came to the U.S. in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Silliman University. She initially worked as a geriatric nurse and later became an open-heart surgery nurse.
While employed, she pursued higher education and completed her master’s degree in Nursing and Public Health Administration as well as her degree in Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nursing Education Administration and System Administration.
A licensed nursing home administrator, she founded Nursing Network in 2000 and grew the company serving about 35 facilities in New Jersey. More than 500 nurses are employed through Nursing Network, and it is Dely’s responsibility to make sure they “consistently provide quality and safe nursing care” to patients.
She stressed how growing stronger as a community “demands sacrifice.”
She said, “Our ancestors and community members have laid the foundation for us, for our present opportunities through their sacrifice, resilience, and unwavering dedication. We must honor their legacy by following in their footsteps, by being willing to make sacrifices for the greater good, and by fostering an environment that rewards hard work, perseverance, and determination.”