JOSEPH HAYNE RAINEY MEMORIAL NEGRO
HOSPITAL - WAITING ROOM
"How...how is she?"
asked as he saw Dr. Calvin Jackson exit the examining room. "How's my
"Mr. Davis, it was a little
complicated," Calvin began cautiously as he began to lead him down the
hallway and toward the waiting room, "but she's going to be fine.
She's experiencing a little discomfort, right now, but your wife is going to be
"W-what about the baby?"
Douglas' hands shook with nervousness. They'd gone through so much in the
last few months because of their baby. He couldn't bear to loose the child
"The baby's going to be fine,
The smile that spread across Calvin's lips
gave Douglas the reassurance that he'd needed and he let out a deep sigh of
"However, Mr. Davis, you need to make
sure your wife takes it easy. It's my understanding that she's been under
a lot of stress lately?"
"That would be a slight
understatement." Douglas shook his head slightly as he thought of the
confrontation with Patterson that had happened earlier and the events of the
past few months that had led up to it. "Things have been a little
"Your wife told me that this isn't the
first time she's collapsed?"
"No, she collapsed a few months
ago. That was how we...she...realized she was expecting a
baby." His mind briefly turned to thoughts of how he hadn't been able
to be there for their child, then. He hadn't known that their brief
encounter, months earlier, had left her carrying his child.
"Well, I'm sure I don't have to warn
you about how too much needless stress can put your wife and child in
jeopardy. They might be okay, now, but there is still a great risk.
You have to make sure that she doesn't put herself in any situation where she
could become overly agitated." Calvin flipped through Lorraine's
chart and began to write down a few notes. "She's fine, now, but I'm
afraid that she might have to be confined to strict bed rest if she can't keep her
emotions in check. There's still much risk."
"Mr. Davis," Calvin said
tentatively, "may I ask you a question?"
"Yes, of course. What is
"Why did you bring your wife here? Why
this hospital?" Calvin watched Douglas closely and
waited for his response.
"I told the other doctors
already!" Douglas took a deep breath. His nerves were still on
edge from the stress of Lorraine's collapse and he fought to compose
himself. "We were on the docks when it happened...when she
collapsed. This is the closest hospital."
"Weren't you concerned about it being
a Negro hospital? We only treat colored folk. We aren't exactly the
most welcomed people over at General."
"Dr. Jackson, the last thing on my
mind was what color the hospital was." Douglas ran his hands through
his hair and looked at Calvin. "The only thing I even thought about
was getting my wife the help she needed. A good doctor is a good doctor,
no matter what color he might be."
"I believe that, too."
"And, in my opinion, after everything
that's happened," Douglas paused for a deep breath, "you're the best
doctor I've ever met. I am forever grateful to you and in your
He extended his hand to Calvin who eyed it
cautiously. Finally, Calvin grasped Douglas' hand and gave it a firm shake
as a smile spread across his face.
"Your wife should be ready to go home
shortly," Calvin said as he led Douglas back down the hallway toward
Lorraine's examining room. "But, I have to advise you to have her see
her own doctor. He's got much more information on her medical history than
"Oh, don't worry. That's top on
my list of priorities." Douglas stopped at the door and turned to
Calvin again. "Is it okay if I see her?"
"Go on in," Calvin smiled.
As the door closed behind Douglas, Calvin's
mind became filled with thoughts of everything that had happened. Calvin's
race hadn't meant anything to Douglas. He was only viewed as the competent
doctor that he was. He couldn't deny the shock that Douglas' comments had
brought. Was his opinion shared by Mary
Albany? Did Mary view his
mother Dorothea with the same mindset and respect? After the events of the
past few hours, Calvin wasn't sure. However, he realized he may have to
rethink his entire opinion of Mary and her employment of his mother.