Thursday, August 5, 2010

Watching and waiting

I'm writing this post from the infusion room of the Hematology/Oncology clinic at Children's Hospital. I have spent countless hours over the years in this clinic...watching and waiting.

As I sit here today, I see the mom and dad of a little girl sitting across the room from us. I don't know why the little girl is here. I don't know anything about this family other than what I see. The mom is hugely pregnant. The dad is holding the little girl (who looks to be about three) in his lap. What strikes me about this family, other than the fact that I think they are newbies to this world, is the fear that clouds the dad's face that he can't quite mask. The mom is trying so hard to remain calm. She is sitting in the same position as I, to the left of your child in a chair that is slightly behind the child's chair. Mom is crying, trying not to let her little girl see her cry. Dad looks to be deep in thought as holds his little girl. The child is distracted by the TV. Mom had to leave the room. She came back calmer than when she left.

It brings back so many memories of watching and waiting when Nick was young. Watching Keith's face as he held Nick in his lap, not fully able to mask the fear. Remembering myself as I struggled to keep my emotions under some sort of control. I didn't want my child to be more scared than he already was.

Even now, I am struggling not to cry as I watch this family waiting. It's difficult for me to sit here and not say anything to them. Why don't I? Because right now, it wouldn't help. They have insulated themselves from what is going on outside of their own crisis. It's easy to see once you've been there. I've been there so many times. It didn't matter if someone tried to make conversation with me, tell me they would pray for us, offer us some kind of hope that we would survive whatever catastrophe that was about to happen. Nothing anyone said to me during these beginning moments mattered. We were too numb. We were too much in shock. We could only focus on getting through this moment.

I can all but feel the sadness emanating off of them. There is strength there too though. The nurse has come to take their daughter for the tests that will give them the answers. Dad carries his little girl. Mom follows behind. They are taking the walk that has the power to change their lives forever.

As I watch and I wait, all I can do is pray.


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