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Mary Mary Mary

June 26, 2011

I believe I have posted this story in the past, but it may be worth the rewrite. This takes place in an inner city nursing home up on the third floor. The hall is to the left of the nurses station. Very nondescript with rooms on each side. Just a dull rectangle shape. The only access to this area is the elevator which is across from the nurses station and a stairwell on the other side of that, more towards the other unit. The shift is 3-11, and its about 7P. Most of the staff is off the floor for dinner. I am getting ready to begin my evening med pass with all the crushes for the tube feeds. I have a male orderly on the floor with me.
This unit has several loud patients with one in particular, a female who says a name of someone repetitively. All the time. I think the name was Mary. So along with other assorted dementia sounds there is the constant background noise of “Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary, being chanted. The orderly is
facing towards the end of the hall next to me and my med cart. I am about half way down the hall. The patient who keeps chanting Mary is the second last room on the left. He is asking me a question when the is a sudden SILENCE. The chanting woman has stopped. The silence makes us both look down the hall towards this woman’s room. We both see a little girl who literally skips out of her room and enters the last room on the right which I know is empty. We both know there are no visitors on the floor but still don’t want an unescorted child running around. Plus we have noticed she was dressed kind of odd. I lock the cart and go down the hall together. No one is in any of the rooms except the bedridden patients that were supposed to be there. We then check on the quiet chanter who was not dead, just inexplicably quiet. The little girl we saw was dressed in a sailor like outfit. A popular style at the turn of the last century. A midi blouse with a large collar and necktie and having a long waist. It was over a dark pleated skirt and dark stockings. Her hair was blonde and pulled back into two braids that bounced as she skipped. She never turned towards us, just skipped purposely into the empty room. The patient stayed quiet only for a few days then resumed her endless calling to someone she wanted to see and “Mary. Mary, Mary” filled the dismal halls again, but no reappearance of the little girl from the past who seemed to have given her some comfort, if only for a short time.

– Posted by mopsi; Allnurses

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