‘Like an Origami Swan’ – Remembering Tea with Miss Elsie

“Hello,” I said. “I’m the nurse. I’m here to see Miss Elsie.”

“I know,” he answered, grabbing my wrist and pulling me inside.

The heat of the cramped house slammed into my face. The windows were closed and the shades pulled down. Without a word, my little escort guided me down a narrow hallway into a room not much bigger than a closet, then deftly released my wrist and slipped out of sight.

So starts “Tea With Miss Elsie,” by Claire Schuster, MSN, RN, APRN-BC, CWS, associate professor emerita in the nursing program at Berea College, Berea, Kentucky. The Reflections essay in the March issue of AJN is a subtle, quiet portrait of a moment and the gesture at its heart, and it’s well worth a read. (For the most appealing version, click through to the PDF version link in the upper right of the landing page.)—JM, senior editor  

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Senior editor/social media strategy, American Journal of Nursing, and editor of AJN Off the Charts.

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