CORNER BROOK No reunion can be complete without the mom.
That is particularly true for the 1987 graduating class of the Western Memorial Regional School of Nursing.
Jeannette Kelly, originally from Grand Falls, was known as mom by her fellow nursing students in Corner Brook. She lived on residence with some of the students, but was older than the others and was sought out for advice and comfort on a wide range of issues.
The maternal moniker has withstood the test of time, those still in contact with her continuing to refer to her as mom.
Kelly, a nurse at Ottawa General Hospital, heard about the reunion plans through her Facebook friends.
"I was just ecstatic," she said. "Not only coming home to see my friends, but we had made so many memories through the years — through struggles, trials and tribulations — and our 10th reunion was so wonderful.
"When I heard there was a 25th, I didn't care. Come hell or high water, I was coming home to reminisce with my friends and to do a lot of laughing, probably crying, remembering, and seeing people I haven't seen in 15 years."
Kelly arrived at Deer Lake Airport Thursday afternoon, picked up by long-time friend and former classmates Dale Biles-Pike and Barbara Wiseman.
Although they have maintained close ties, mainly through Facebook, it was a special face-to-face reunion after 15 years.
"We were at the airport and everybody was just looking at us, all we could do was just cry," Biles-Pike said.
Kelly said she feels at home being back in Newfoundland.
"I felt like getting down and kissing the ground when I got off the plane," she said, "Even though I have been (in Ottawa) for 13 years, there's no place like home."
Friday afternoon, both nurses were excited to get the events of the weekend underway. They were scheduled to have a graduates-only gathering Friday night, where they would be catching up on everybody's personal and professional lives, to be followed by functions Saturday and Sunday.
"The excitement started weeks ago," Kelly said. "I am just so excited to see everybody.
"We formed such a special bond, living in residence and going through all the stress of studying, and trying to fit in your partying. There are a lot of good memories and life-long friends."