The school day had ended and the hall outside my office was quiet. I made notes at my desk and became aware of a small person standing in front of me. I looked up into the face of Betsy, a second grader who stood with her backpack in place, her rather expressionless face surrounded by wisps of blond hair, and her arm stretched toward me with her index finger extended.

I smiled and asked, “How may I help you, Betsy?”  She spoke quietly, “I wanted to see you about this finger. I was going to come after lunch but my teacher thought it looked all right and I could see you after school.”

Taking her finger in my hands I examined it gently. Not seeing any visible injury, having her bend it in all directions, I asked, “Did you injure your finger?”  She removed her back pack, placed it on the chair near my desk and answered, “Yes, nurse. I hurt it yesterday at home.” 

“Maybe you could tell me about that,” I suggested. She took a deep breath and spoke with more animation. “Well, it happened when I was playing in the front yard with a bunch of kids and we started to play on our porch railing—we were going to walk on it. I had done that before—and I told them I had. The older kids laughed and said they bet I couldn’t do it. So, I tried to show them—but this time I fell off, landed on my finger, and it really hurt!” There was a long pause before she added, “All the kids laughed at me.”

“Oh, I am so sorry that happened, Betsy.”  She nodded. I continued, “Well, I am glad to see it is healing so well.”

With the beginning of a smile Betsy replied, “Yes it is . . . but I just thought you would want to know.”

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.

4 thoughts on “Healing

  1. Oh, Sue. You were such an important part of our community at PLS. We are looking at what made it so great as we write the history of PLS as part of the website. Your office was a refuge for so many children and some of the teachers too, I bet.

    I think about what society needs and how resources can be reallocated away from the police force, not that we don’t need them too, but in a much more focused role.

    Other agencies that can offer help to people in positive ways as they try to manage their daily lives are needed rather than punishment after the fact like we have now. Certainly school nurses in every school could do so much for children who need the kinds of support your wonderful essays are illustrating. Hopefully at some point in this discussion, these stories will find a wider audience to illustrate just how that could happen.

    Keep up the good work!



  2. Thank you so very much, Judy. Yes, you are right about the great need for reallocation of funds to strengthen our educational system. I am grateful for the opportunity I had to be a part of the MPLS community. What a special place.


  3. I love your stories, so well written. Both Lynn and I enjoyed you so much. I remember the good visit we had when we went out to eat with you and Bill one night.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mary, thank you for your note. So glad you are enjoying the stories. Happy I made a few notes back then…though most are engrained in my heart. It too remember a delightful time with you and Lynn. Blessings…Sue


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