Naurita Louise “Rikki” Waters, 83, of Providence, passed in peace Saturday, July 18th of natural causes. She was the daughter of the late Herbert H. Simmons Jr. and the late H. Louise Simmons (Moore).
Born in Providence, she was a graduate of Central High School (’55), St. Joseph School of Nursing (’58), the University of Rhode Island (BSN, ’75; MSN ’84) and Roger Williams University (’96). She began her nursing career as a staff RN at the Providence Lying-In Hospital (later Women & Infants, ’59-’60). Next, she assumed the role of Assistant Director of Nurses at Charles V. Chapin Hospital (’60-66) and later became the Director of Nurses at Eleanor Slater Hospital (former Institute of Mental Health, ’66-95). On June 12th, 1991, backed by the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights, she won a landmark case in compensation discrimination against the Rhode Island Department of Mental Health, Retardation, and Hospitals. In retirement, she continued to offer her services to the nursing profession as a substitute School Nurse Teacher for over a half dozen school departments around the state.
She leaves two sons- Kevin Linwood Waters Sr. and Curtis Steven Waters, along with their spouses Alicia Waters and Tricia Silva. She also leaves six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
“Rikki” was an exuberant and eloquent, yet enigmatic Mother, Nana and Friend. An intention to honor the tenets of family, moral goodness, generosity and togetherness were evident in all that she did. She will be deeply missed for her wit, charm and love of celebrating life’s every milestone..
In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution in her name to the Alzheimer’s Association of Rhode Island.
A Journal for a Really, Really Good Life
The best piece of advice I can give you is- Have a good life.
A really, really good life is not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, or the large pay check, or the shinier car.
Do you think so very much about those things if you develop a clot in your brain?
Or find a lump in your breast while in the shower?
A really, really good life in which you perceive the smell of salt water pushing itself against a breeze at the beach;
Or a life in which you stop and watch a beautifully-colored bird circle over a pond and travel over the tree tops.
Get a life in which you pay attention to baby’s frown, when tasting a new sour meal for the first time;
Or when they scowl with concentration, as they pick-up a Cheerio with thumb and index finger for the first time.
Have a really, really good life in which you are generous;
Look around at flowers bursting in the Spring;
Look up at the full moon hanging like silver against the backdrop of a black sky on a cold Winter night,
And realize that life is really, really glorious;
And that you have no business to take it for granted.
Care so deeply that goodness is what you want to spread.
Take the money you spend on ‘iced coffee, extra-extra’ at Dunkin’ Donuts
And give it to charity, or volunteer in a soup kitchen or hospital.
The money you spend on shoes, instead give to the homeless or be a mentor to a needy child.
Remember as humans, all of us want to do well.
But if we do not do good, too, then doing well will never be enough.
So go on out into the World and get a really, really good life.
Searching for a really, really good life may begin with turning off your cell phone.
Matter of fact, turn off your iPod and radio as well.
Keep still for a moment, be in the present, oriented to time and place.
Get a life in which you are not alone.
Seek out people you love, and who love you.
And remember love is not leisure activity time-
It is work, hard work.
As I look back at time in retrospect of my “Olden Days”,
Glance at my own diploma and look towards my Golden Days-
I am reminded that I’m still a student, still learning every day how to be human.
Now send an e-mail, write a letter-
But kiss your Nana, and yes, hug her too.
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