Ask Mike Malone what his favorite accomplishment is and he’ll quickly answer you. But the answer won’t be serving in the U.S. Navy. It won’t be working 20 years in defense contracting. And it won’t be saving lives everyday by working as a nurse at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne. The answer will be his best friend, his daughter, Erin.
“She’s my baby girl, she always will be,” Mike said. “She’s seriously my best friend. As well as being her father, she’s turned out wonderfully well and we’re always complimented on her. She is wonderful.”
Mike, his wife, Shermaine, and his daughter are all nurses at Texas Health Cleburne.
Mike works night shift in the intensive care unit, Shermaine works day shift in outpatient surgery, and Erin works on the medical/surgical floor day shift.
“We try to see each other and accommodate each other’s schedules so we can have some time together,” he said.
A special bond
When Erin was born, Mike was in the U.S. Navy and the family was living overseas in Greece.
“We decided to have that child there because I think the bonds of family were great,” he said. “We were kind of isolated from our family back in the United States and saw how important that was. It gave us a better perspective.
“We decided we were going to try and we did, and it was successful. It was wonderful.”
An instant bond between father and daughter was formed when Erin was born.
“I never realized the capacity a person could feel to love someone until she was born,” he said. “I can’t explain that to a lot of people. People without children seem to say ‘You can’t tell me I don’t love as much as you do’ but I’ve been there too and it’s a profound difference.”
Growing up, Erin and Mike continued that special bond by spending lots of time together.
“I always tried to be there for all of her outings to the different things,” he said. “I always made time to go with her on her day trips and stuff like that.”
Mike watched her play sports, serve as the drum major and play the Wampus Cat mascot in Itasca.
“We still miss those days,” Mike said.
Erin also plays guitar and sings and writes songs.
“She’s wonderful at it,” he said. “I love to sing with her. She plays at some of the local places around here.”
Erin said she loves her dad a lot and remembers special times spent with him growing up.
“I remember when my parents split up for awhile he would get me every other weekend,” she said. “Every weekend we would do something different, I didn’t get to do a lot of other times. I always remember my dad as being very focused that I had a good education and was very cultured.”
The two have an open communication that allows them to share anything.
“I can tell him anything and I feel like that I am more than family with him,” she said. “He’s not just my dad, but he’s one of my best friends. I know if anything happened I could talk to him and not worry that he was going to look at me different.
“He truly loves me for who I am and accepts me all the time. I love him a lot.”