“Hurry up now! We don’t want to hear it from the matron why we’re late.”
“Yes,” answered Sister Bernadette as she hurried across the hospital, in tow with Nurse Wilkins.
It had been a few months since she was last seconded to the London hospital and much had changed in such a short span of time. The hospital had underwent add-ons to its interior, the addition of different departments and that of personnel. It was quite the contrast to the routes of East End, different from Nonnatus House, and even that of Doctor Turner’s surgery.
At the London, everything was extremely spick and span and contained a number of characters. The matron in charge possessed ears and eyes like a hawk with a thin capacity for patience, the doctors who were preoccupied in their cases and only shared within their group. Then the nurses, who were either fresh out of nursing school or those who knew all too well the inner workings of the hospital. Nothing was wrong with the hospital, but it seemed too robotic and uninviting in Sister Bernadette’s opinion. She had counted herself lucky in acquiring the company of Nurse Wilkins, who was very helpful and in no way naive to how everything worked within the hospital’s many niches.
Sister Bernadette had just arrived in time to assist on a number of surgeries. The first case was a cesarean section, the next two were appendectomies, but the last one was not routine in the slightest. It was a severe case of abdominal pain, which revealed the presence of pancreatic cancer, which was at a progressive stage. The surgeon in charge held it together, but towards the end, after the surgical attire was discarded, she heard his unspoken thoughts.
“Damn it! Severe abdominal pain can mean a small number of things, one of which is cancer. I should have seen it coming,” he spoke harshly to no one but himself. His fist made contact with the wall as he leaned on it for support. His outburst was witnessed by none, other than the vacant hallway. However, it went unknown to him that Sister Bernadette had caught sight of his distress, but hadn’t the heart nor courage to make herself known. Once she had saw him, she realized his need for solitude and left.
Her quiet demeanor didn’t allow words of comfort to be spoken. She didn’t know the surgeon, but when she saw the look in his eyes earlier, she too knew everything was loss for the patient. What was left of surgeon was his silhouette hunched over in despair. Despair by the fact that it was not his ability at fault, but the circumstances of the presented case.
Sister Bernadette reflected on her time at the London, which revealed a great deal about one’s ability, which could not account for every situation. Difficulties can befall the best, sometimes it’s not up to us, but to the Lord, who decides when it’s time for entry into his kingdom.
Sister Bernadette made her way to the small chapel of Nonnatus House, kneeled down in prayer for the man who had lost his life and for the troubled surgeon. A capable man, but in his eyes, he had failed miserably in his lack of experience in excising a tumor of such mass. He who felt internal disappoint at his own expertise when there was nothing he could have done differently.
Sister Bernadette couldn’t help but draw parallels between the surgeon and Nurse Browne, who too was quite capable, but wasn’t certain about her own skills. Nurse Browne who seemed out of sorts, but possessed a kind heart with an equally equipped mind. All she needed was encouragement and the opportunity to prove herself.
Sister Bernadette noticed Sister Evangelina’s outspoken opinion on Nurse Browne and realized that deep down her fellow Sister cared, but had a brash way in showing it. Sister Bernadette felt the need to voice her opinion to Sister Evangelina come one afternoon, the day of nurses’ incident with the local constable.
“What if it’s the stepping-stone to her life’s work?”
“This is our life’s work, might I remind you Sister.”
The conversation ended there once Nurse Browne’s presence was made known. But for Sister Bernadette, she felt the need to discuss further. To reassure Sister Evangelina that time would allow Nurse Browne the opportunity and for God to decide her time to shine.
“Is it true?” Sister Bernadette blurted out, breathing heavily with the need to repay her oxygen debt.
“Sister?” answered a puzzled Doctor Turner.
“Sorry,” she breathed out. Sister Bernadette had biked over once she heard the news from a patient’s family member. The news that Nurse Browne had successfully delivered a baby in the breech position or in the teller’s words, “arse-first.”
“I just heard that Nurse Browne had a successful delivery.”
“Oh, were you worried Sister Bernadette?”
“I was just worried about Sister Evangelina, if she would allow Nurse Browne the opportunity.”
“I see, well I was there first hand and can attest Nurse Browne did beautifully. She found her footing just fine and at the right moment might I add.”
“Yes,” a broad smile evident on her features, “she certainly found her path and stepping-stone on the matter.”
With that Sister Bernadette thanked Doctor Turner and turned to leave, her pace steadied in her movement back to Nonnatus House. To a place where one’s abilities could only grow, along with one’s confidence.
Another unseen moment, I hope you all liked it and hopefully it made sense!