Wednesday, September 26, 2012
"I just want a cup of coffee." I moaned.
I looked over and saw a slender girl.. probably 10 or 15 (oh, who's kidding.... definitely 15) years my junior. She wore cotton leggings, a long sweater, and a chic black hat pulled over her soft brown hair. Her eyes were dark, tear rimmed, heavy. Like mine. She had the same dazed look on her face... the look that told me she too was wandering the halls of this hospital, taking each day one at a time, making serious choices for a loved one, deciding what course of action to take next, trying to hold it all together .... and we can't decide what coffee we wanted to drink.
We shared a nod, a smile, and a point in the right direction towards the creamer and sugar... but we didn't share our stories with each other... we didn't have to - we already knew the story. Her story was mine, and my story was hers.
For three more weeks I would see her - in the waiting room, in the elevator, at the vending machine. Floor six was our neighborhood. We had a kinship. She would catch my eye and smile. We didn't feel the need to start a conversation. We both knew we were too weary for that.
Waiting outside his room... waiting for him to come up from PACU.... waiting for his bed to roll by, so I could grab his hand, see his face, breathe again... Kindred Spirit appeared. For the first time in three weeks, her brown eyes sparkled, the burden was gone. I felt a pang of jealousy that washed away quickly when I realized we were on the same road. I saw what relief looked like - I wanted it too. Just like how she wanted a cup off coffee that morning. It's all too much.
"We are going home" she shyly said. "I wanted to say good-bye ..... "
She finally told me her story. Her boyfriend fell while mountain climbing and shattered both his legs. They had been here three weeks. He had to have donor bones implanted. He can walk. No nerve damage. I shared with her mine. Surgery was a success.... a few more days and we should be able to go home. As we hugged, and said good bye, my love was wheeled past me in his bed and returned to his room. I felt air return to my lungs. She looked back as she walked down the hall to press the elevator button one last time..... And she knew - I'll be ok.
Paradise is Here, Paradise is Now.... Paradise is a Kindred Spirit.