Tossing the clerical collar?


Dinner that evening was chicken burgers on a toasted bun with your choice of garnishes including fresh lettuce, sliced tomatoes, pickles, onions, cheddar cheese, mustard, and of course, Diana sauce! They served french fries and a lovely tossed salad on the side with a zingy Italian dressing. The ‘juice of indeterminate flavor’ made another reappearance — seems it was a staple. For dessert we had butterscotch pudding. All four of us gobbled down the dinner. Seems running, swimming, canoeing, and sliding were all appetite builders.

Fr. Brian sat beside me at dinner. He asked how the ER trip had gone and I gave him the abbreviated version. Then I asked how things had gone with his meeting with Sammy and her mum. Sammy had gone home after lunch as a result of her misadventures in inebriation.

“Well…it was not the most fun I have had at camp!” Father Brian said as he dipped his fries into Diana sauce. “Sammy was very tearful and seemed sincere in her apologies. Her mum was pretty disappointed in her, you could tell that for sure. All I can say is that I am glad I didn’t have to be in that car for the three hour trip home!”

“Are you going to get a fill-in for Sammy? I imagine her absence will be hard on the remaining counselors?”

“Nah. I will give her a couple of days at home to sit and reflect upon her mistake….and then I will call her and ask her if she wants to come back.”

“You would do that?” I was a little astonished.

“Heck ya! We all fail. We all do things we regret. Camp is all about second chances, learning from our mistakes, building strong future leaders. I’ll bet my clerical collar that Sammy will come back and be a stronger counselor for her experience.” 

I could see that. I was learning from my mistakes, that was for certain. I knew learning from them would make me a better nurse.

“But, but what if she says ‘No’?”

Fr. Brian chuckled and shook his head slowly as he rubbed his hands together. “They never say ‘No’ Anne! Never.”

“Really? I find that hard to believe.”

Fr. Brian smiled and slowly shook his head and chuckled. “O, ye of little faith!”



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