I still remember the sinking, stones-in-the-stomach feeling that came over me when Atticus Finch lost the trial defending Tom Robinson. I'd been in bed with my covers huddled around me in the chill of my converted basement bedroom when I broke into hot salty tears and ran off to find my mother. I'd never read a story like To Kill A Mockingbird before, a story where the bad guys won. I kept waiting for Scooby Doo and Shaggy to pull off the masks of the thieves and reveal their scruffy faces, red and cowed. I couldn't believe that moment in the story never came.
Sitting in the noon light of the atrium, he locks his eyes on mine and says, “27? You look older.” The chatter of thirty lunching employees quiets to an indistinct drone. “You know that’s not a nice thing to say to a woman.” “Hey,” he shrugs. “I tell people, I gave my arm to live… Continue reading Worry Lines
When I’m not on call at the big hospital, I work at the Cancer Center, which is an outpatient facility where patients receive chemotherapy and radiation. When I first arrived, my boss told me to make rounds in the infusion room and the lobby. I walk into the infusion room, a large open area with chest-high walls dividing… Continue reading A Bright Sadness
I am a tall, young, female chaplain with a penchant for costume jewelry and leopard print accessories. When there’s a death or a trauma, I introduce myself to the family. “I’m Caroline, the chaplain. I’m here for your support,” I say, furrowing my brow and mustering all the earnest concern I can. They look up… Continue reading Stand There: Ministry of Presence in a Medical World