The weight of responsibility


As I stood in the health office, Gordon Lightfoot singing in the background, pulling out the morning medications, I let the relief wash over me again. Ted was in good hands. I smiled. I realized how heavily the worry and uncertainty had weighed upon me. I happily hummed as I plunked the pills into the little plastic cups and thought.

Being the singular nurse on site and responsible for all the health care needs for one hundred people was immensely terrifying if you thought about it. I considered what might have happened if that light bulb had not gone off and I hadn’t suspected appendicitis on Ted. I would have had an extremely ill camper. I shivered.


“Thank you Jesus.” I whispered as I screwed the top back onto the last bottle of medication.

“What are you thanking Jesus for, Anne?” A voice startled me.

“Oh!” I laughed as I looked up and saw Father Brian and Bill standing outside my door. “For insight. I was thankful for insight.” I waved it off and shook my head. “What can I do for you gentlemen? Laxatives? Narcotics perhaps?” I laughed again and leaned on the counter.

“Just some of that insight perhaps.” Father Brian responded cheerfully as the two of them entered the office. Bill walked past me and sat in one of the chairs and placed his hands on his knees. He looked a bit pasty. “We were having a meeting this morning in the office when Bill mentioned he was having a hard time breathing and that his chest felt tight.” My smile melted off my face.

In a split second the delightful buoyant feeling that I had been enjoying came to a halt as the leaden weight of responsibility crashed down upon my head. OUCH.


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