Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Life in, Life out


I'm sitting in the main lobby of the Hospital. Waiting.

These days, hospitals are hard for me to handle.

Luckily, I'm here for work and not for "pleasure."

As I sit here, waiting for my next meeting, listening to Bob Marley and all my other faves, I look around at all the others. Waiting.

Too bad they aren't here for work too.

I can't help but to look around and think about each person or group's "story."

Right now, there is a huge family waiting for the patriarch to have surgery.

When they first checked in, the whole family wasn't here yet and the wife left husband and daughter to look for crackers. "Don't let them call your name while I'm gone!" she demands as she searches for the starches.

One minute later, the nurse calls his name. His young daughter is left by herself while nurse takes Dad for "just a minute."

Daughter looks scared - like she shouldn't have "let them call his name."

He's back before his wife knows he was gone. Pheww.

An hour later, 10 of them are waiting. Trying to be jovial. No one speaks of the imminent. Nervously shifting from sit to stand.

Lots of grave faces painted with smiles in that group. I hope it goes well.

Another lady has read at least 500 pages of a giant book that looks like an unabridged dictionary since I've been sitting here. Now she's doing crosswords with a pen. (Did you know Confucius does his crosswords with a pen?)

Reading lady is definitely waiting. I hope it goes well for her too.

If I thought it would help, I would pray for these people. But I have a hard time believing that a third-party administrator for my kind thoughts and well wishes is an efficient or effective solution.

Patriarch is being called now. He has to choose one person to take with him and has to hug the rest goodbye and leave them behind. Nurse directs family to other family waiting room. Waiting.

The hugs are starting. Goodbyes and good lucks ring through the lobby.

"Don't you get lost, come back to me, you hear!"

They are all gone now.

The patriarch.

The family.

The reading lady.

Gone.

And another round of waiting has begun. In the lobby and in the lives of the wait-ers.

What a fucked up way to spend a morning.

Watching the stoicism, the strength, the fear, the love, the uncertainty of Life.

Life in, Life out.

Please just put me on a hill with a nice view, under a cozy tree, overlooking a babbling brook when it's my time to wait.

Hospitals give me the creeps.

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