The Meenister’s Log – Charlie Chaplain’s Tales
In one of my congregations, I had the most delightful elderly lady who was a retired Matron.
Miss T.- or “Matron” as she was still called – once told me a story of when, in the distant past, she was a student nurse on a ward where a patient died suddenly just before visiting time.
The Ward Sister told her and another student to make the newly deceased look “as natural as possible” before his relatives arrived.
So young “Matron” and her colleague propped up the old fellow with pillows, closed his eyes and put on his spectacles,draped an open newspaper over his chest and put an (unlit) pipe in his hand (one could smoke in those days), giving the impression that the old boy had dozed off reading the paper.
The family duly arrived but stayed for only five minutes or so, saying “Auld soul, out for the count – but he looks so peaceful. We’ll just let him catch up with his ‘beauty sleep'”
Now, I can’t vouch for the veracity of this tale (nor her story about cleaning all the patients’ dentures together at the same time in a “Belfast” sluice)
But she told the story with more than the usual twinkle in her eye!
She went on to become one of the most loved and respected Matrons in our local hospital. RIP Miss T. (“Matron”)