I come off of the elevator trying not to make eye contact with anyone as I make my way to the front desk. I tell them my name and sign the always present paperwork. I find a seat and only then do I allow myself to look around at my surroundings. The waiting room is half full of patients in various degrees of sickness. Some are bald, some are like me and appear to be completely healthy. This is a very busy place, people coming and going or simply waiting. You can feel the weight of their stories hovering over the room like a hot, humid South Carolina day.
A middle-aged woman wearing a ball cap talks on her cellphone trying to get a few more things marked off of her to do list before her name is called as if she were a contestant on the Price Is Right, but there are no prizes here. A gray haired man sits off by himself reading a Louis Lamar western. He looks at his watch every few minutes only to find that time moves slow here if it even moves at all. He waits for his wife hoping that the poison running through her veins will be strong enough this time.
I feel like such a fraud in this building for the truly sick. Taking up precious space in an area that is never quite big enough. My fight is not life and death like my room mates. I will not suffer a slow, painful demise like some who are here. I will not say good bye to my husband, mother, or daughter. I will not leave dreams unfulfilled. My fight is about quality instead of quantity. It’s about walking and standing instead of merely being.
I feel guilty for this though I don’t know why. Noboy wants to be here. The sun shines through the windows as a constant reminder that life will go on. Will I see the same people next week or are they merely ghosts whose lives will be cut short by an obtrusive fate. Only time will tell. I am merely here for the day. A visitor in a world full of excruciating pain or extreme happiness, of excessive fear and everlasting hope. It reminds me to be thankful for every second that I have been given. Life is a gift that can be taken back at any time whether we are ready or not.
Appreciate the good, laugh at the crazy, and deal with the rest.
I love you momma!