The closer I became to becoming a full fledged Nun, the more disquieted my soul became. The more I poured over the scriptures in my few off-hours, the more I questioned the practices of the church. I began to weigh the Catholic doctrines against the Protestant ones that I had been raised to believe. It was a journey far harder than even that of caring for the dying ones.
At the same time, it was getting harder and harder to hide my pregnancy. So far, Mother Superior had equated my frequent boughts of nausea with the nature of the work at hand. Even the most steeled of individuals could still be brought to their knees by some of the injuries we’d seen. I was working alongside the doctor nearly all the time, now, seeing some of the worst cases that came through the door. Severed hands (remember the idea of the justice system here), gunshot wounds, stabbings, and all the common injuries that come with life on the sea. But, even Mother Superior had noticed my dramatic weight loss. I’d already fallen from the mere 98 pounds I’d weighed on arrival to a scant 65 pounds on a four and a half foot frame. And yet, my tummy remained mostly flat with just a slight pudge. Now, it was the time to speak up, frightening as the thought was to consider.
So, I found Mother Superior at her desk and asked to speak with her. I have to say that I’d grown to love the elderly woman. She’d seen so much, lived so much. Her testimony of faith was beyond anything I’d ever known. I’d even seen the scars of that testimony while in the common showers. She’d seen mine as well; the physical leftovers of a dozen or more surgeries and physical abuse. We’d become close friends and even confidants during my short time here. It was because of that that I could no longer bear to hide my secret any longer. When it came to telling her, the words came out in a rushed and emotional flood. She’d smiled, nodding her acceptance.
‘I knew you would come and tell me when the time was right, Child.’ Her tone was full of love and understanding. ‘This is something you cannot hide or run away from. This is a blessing for you from God Himself.’
I breathed a sigh of relief. I had feared the worst. But, at that moment, I didn’t know – didn’t realize what my pregnancy would cause to come about. No, instead, at the moment, all I felt was a lightness of heart that I hadn’t felt since I’d come home to find my husband’s dead body lying so peacefully in our bed.