Editor’s note: For National Lineworker Appreciation Day April 18, Tyler Goldstein, a Duke Energy lineworker in Charlotte, North Carolina, shared this letter to his wife, Dannielle, a nurse at a children’s hospital intensive care unit, to show his appreciation for her support at home and at her job during a challenging year.
Being a lineworker is not for everyone. We work long hours in all kinds of weather, and you can’t be afraid of heights, but I love my job. I love being outside, doing something different every day and knowing that I am helping others.
My wife, Dannielle, feels the same way about her job as a nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit. For the smallest babies and those with the biggest hurdles, she and her teammates give 24/7 care. Her job is one of the most important that I can think of.
Her job has been even more important in the last year with fewer nurses on shift and hospitals allowing fewer visitors. She works three 12-hour shifts every week. After a long shift, she has always been tired, but the new protocols and demands have made her job even more challenging. Still, she goes to work with the same selflessness and determination to help others.
She and her teammates are the primary caregivers for the babies’ first months of life and form a lasting bond. Recently, she went to check on a patient, who’s now three years old. Amazingly, he and his family still remember Dannielle and the special attention she gave when they needed it most.
When Dannielle isn’t at work, she’s helping me be better at my job, too.
We have an understanding that if I’m on call when power outages pop up or a storm rolls through, I have to go. Even though she has her own things to take care of, every time the phone rings saying it’s time for me to go to work, she looks at me and says, “What do you need?”
I know I wouldn’t be able to do my job without her being so good at hers.
As a lineworker, it’s important to have a strong partner who can help keep everything running. Dannielle is the anchor, and I appreciate all that she does for our family and community.
Throughout the pandemic, we watched everyone’s lives change – our neighbors working from home or schooling their kids from the kitchen table – but at our house, we’re grateful that not much has changed. It’s a source of pride for us to have been lucky enough to go to jobs that we love every day and keep our community running.