“How well is Nurse Lee holding up?” asked Sister Bernadette, she noticed Nurse Lee’s quiet behavior and overheard most of the nurse’s distress from her fellow colleagues. The impact of Mr. Collett’s death and of personal woes.
Sister Bernadette had sought out Sister Julienne’s opinion and awareness on the matter for it had not been long since Nurse Lee had joined their ranks. It was after compline when Sister Bernadette found Sister Julienne in her office, just before she was ready to retire for the night.
“As well as to be expected I’m afraid. I feel only time will tell when Nurse Lee is ready to express her feelings, but our work must continue on.”
“Yes and I’m sure she knows that. Along with knowing we are here for her if she ever needs our support. I hope you get some rest Sister,” reaching for the door knob of Sister Julienne’s office, Sister Bernadette prepared to leave, but was stopped by Sister Julienne’s private assertion.
“I must tell you Sister, I have some misgivings.”
“On what matter?” asked Sister Bernadette as she resumed her once vacant seat in front of Sister Julienne.
“I feel I pushed Nurse Lee too hard into Mr. Collett’s care and at some level, I feel responsible for her grief.”
“Sister, you mustn’t. Nurse Lee understands her duties as a nurse and you cannot blame yourself. If we were to look past Nurse Lee’s grief, we would find that she has grown a great deal from her time with Mr. Collett. It’s similar to our own experiences at one point or another.”
“I suppose you’re right. Where would I be without her constant support, Sister?”
“I’m certain you would fare just fine, but you would certainly be outmaneuvered between the banter of Sister Monica Joan and Sister Evangelina.”
On that note, they exchanged goodbyes of the night, but rest was not easily found for Sister Bernadette. Her mind drifted off to the worries of her fellow Sisters, the nurses, and the community of Poplar.
“You seem distracted today Sister.”
“Oh Doctor Turner, I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you come in.”
“It’s fine. My stealth serves me well, especially when I’m late,” giving her his usually well-received smile, but found that Sister Bernadette was still distracted from her unspoken worries.
“What’s on your mind Sister Bernadette?”
“Nothing, it’s just been a whirlwind this past week Doctor Turner.”
“I can understand that, with the birth of the Lawson baby, which was a surprise to us all. Then the closing of the tenements and all that followed. I also heard about Mr. Collett’s death from Sister Julienne.”
“Yes, I suppose in life there are many ups and downs. I just worry for my fellow Sisters and nurses. I’m sorry, I’m keeping you and myself from clinic duties.”
“It’s quite alright. Everyone has their moment of doubt and time to voice them, it’s certainly a luxury we tend to overlook I’m afraid,” this time Sister Bernadette did smile at his words. A smile not necessarily contained with pure happiness, but of knowing life is filled with wonderful people who allow you the luxury in simple talk and listening to one’s uncertainties.
Not the greatest, but I hope it’s fine!