A day in the hospital

Photo: Anthony Moretti, 3June 2016

My wife had minor surgery today. Spending eight hours in a hospital can serve as a great reminder of what’s important.

My impatient nature required me to walk the hallways; there was no way that I could sit in whatever waiting room I was supposed to and wait for the surgeon to do what he had to do. (Yes that also means I didn’t bring a laptop with me; that item could have killed plenty of time!)

As I moved from the waiting room to the cafe to the nearby gift shop to wherever else I roamed, I inevitably came across a man or woman being rolled to or from an operating room, or a family member or friend waiting to hear how their loved one was doing.

Some of those patients had obvious pain on their faces. Many of them were seniors; whether it was empathy or sympathy, I felt for them. No one is guaranteed to reach old age, but getting there often means some significant health issue. I secretly thanked the good Lord above that I wasn’t in the bed they found themselves in.

If you are visiting someone who is in the hospital and who has welcomed a baby into the world, happiness radiates across your face. Similarly, if you are there to see someone who is not in great health, concern easily can be spotted. I saw a lot of people with concern. At one point, I walked past a woman with tears streaming down her face as she spoke on her cellphone. I secretly thanked the good Lord above that I wasn’t making or receiving that phone call.

A couple friends of mine are dealing with significant personal issues this week. While neither of them is in the hospital, I found myself thinking of them, as I saw the worries evident on the faces of people I didn’t know.

Yes, a few hours seeing pain and fear can be a reminder that the disappointments you are dealing with are simply not as bad as you might make them out to be.

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