by Bobby Anderson, RN – staff writer
Stories of people putting their dreams of becoming a nurse on hold are all too common.
So when it happened to Beth Mendros McGill she cried a few tears, gave birth to twins and then turned her oven up to 350 degrees and moved on with her life.
“I cried a lot,” she said, unpacking the rollercoaster ride that led her to push pause on her nursing dreams. “I was pretty emotional about it. I know when I get back to it I will be a good nurse.” (story continued below)
To fully understand how Mendros McGill got to this point you need to know where she started.
The daughter of Greek parents, Mendros McGill grew up spending sun-kissed summers on the shores of Greece.
After graduating from Mt. St. Mary’s, she earned a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies at the University of Oklahoma.
Around the same time, her father wanted to help one of her brothers break into the culinary business.
“I was more the Type A, book smart one in the family and he wanted to get him established in something he loved to do and that was the culinary arts so he asked if I would get the restaurant started,” she said.
Another brother – an architect – designed what would become The Greek Taverna, a local Moore hotspot that built a reputation for authentic mediterranean fare.
Those several years running the restaurant were great.
Then her father’s health declined.
“It kind of changed everything,” she said. “I was pregnant and my dad was well enough to walk me down the aisle. Six months down the road he had a sudden, severe stroke.”
The restaurant closed and Mendros McGill set her sights on the medical field.
She earned a coveted spot in Oklahoma City Community College’s accelerated nursing program.
“I loved it for a good while but it was very obvious with all my kids and husband and regimen that traditional (nursing school) would be more my speed,” said Mendros McGill, who discovered she was pregnant again.
“I was so tired and so exhausted that I didn’t know what was happening. We were never expecting twins would be on the table.”
“The twins are kind of a game changer all around.”
Charley – named after her husband’s grandfather – came first at 7:11 p.m. Gianni was born two minutes later.
With a blended family, that brought the Mendros McGill family to five.
“And we’re done,” she laughed.
With her hands literally full, her mother-in-law Vickey McGill stepped in and offered to stay home with the babies.
“The first year was such a blur,” she said.
Three months later “the most amazing person you ever met” was diagnosed with cancer in her bile duct.
“That was brutal,” Mendros McGill said of seeing her mother-in-law wade through the diagnosis. “She was our biggest help, our advocate and support. The greatest joy in her life was being a grandmother. She was so excited.”
Then came Covid. The family quarantined and her husband took a pay cut.
Thinking of different ways to supplement the family’s income, she kept remembering the family restaurant.
“There was a lot of joy the taverna brought me,” she said. “People always asked me about real Greek food. One thing I do know for sure is how to make authentic Greek food.”
Her mind went into overdrive. How could she reconnect with her old customers and bring authentic Greek food back to the community.
From there, Bethie Bakes was born in her kitchen.
From every sheet of phyllo to the select choice of imported feta, Mendros McGill promises you will taste a little bit of Greece with each bite.
She specializes in perfect Greek treats for feeding your family, entertaining guests, holidays, special occasions, work parties, gifting new parents, study groups, meet and greets, surprise “just because” gifts, thank you gifts, thinking of you gifts, meal trains, sympathy sentiments, or simply treating yourself.
She offers $3 delivery on the weekends and porch pickup during the week.
You can find her on Facebook or online at bethiebakes.online.
“It also feels good to have something that was mine,” she said. “I love being home with my babies and there’s nothing more I would want … but I needed something for me as a person, too.”
She knows one day that will mean going back to earn her RN.
“When I set my mind to do something I do it,” she said. “Even if it takes me years.”
“That’s one of my end goals is to finish my nursing degree. I’ve had to relook at seeing what’s been going on with Covid 19 and front line workers. I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated the medical field as much as I do know.”
“I want to be arm and arm with what they’re doing.”