Phew!

She didn’t make frequent visits to the nurse, so I was surprised to look up from my desk and see second grader Beth limping through the door. Her disheveled long black hair framed a  worried face with tear filled dark eyes. She held her skirt above one knee, exposing a bloody scrape. I led her to a small chair and gathered my supplies. Beth described her fall, her pain, and her need for immediate nursing care with dramatic detail and concluded, “Oh, Nurse Flemr, I do hope you can help me. I am afraid I might have cinders in my scrape.” I assured her I would carefully remove any found.

I pulled up another small chair (In those days, I took pride in being able to fold my six-foot frame into the small, but sturdy chair). I used gauze and warm sudsy water to gently clean the scrape. As I worked, Beth’s tears subsided and I did my best to distract her with mutual chatter.

After a few minutes, Beth asked, “Nurse Flemr . . . could you please tell me how you get that very white hair all mixed in there with the black hair?’  I realized she was looking at the top of my head as I bent over her knee.  I explained, “Well, it just grows in there like that, Beth. As I am getting older I get a few more each year.” 

Beth’s reply is one which will forever cause me to laugh out loud.  “That is SO NEAT, Nurse Flemr . . . it is JUST like a skunk!”  

Published by Susan Flemr

Retired former nurse and former Lutheran pastor. Happily living with her husband of 53 years in Des Moines Iowa. Two married sons and their beautiful families in Nichols, IA and Colorado Springs, CO.

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