Monday, March 08, 2004

Sundry Ponderings from the Innards of a Hospital Waiting Room

I spent about 21 hours at the hospital over the 3-day span from Thursday to Saturday. Doing that, you have lots of time to think. Here are some of my thoughts:

I thought about Dad. I remembered him taking me fishing when I was younger, playing football in the backyard, letting me sit in his lap and pretend I was driving the car, etc. It's so important to spend time, to make time, for your children. Those are the little things they'll remember.

I thought about the passing of time. I'm getting older. My parents are getting older. I have close friends who have already lost one or both parents. When you see that, you realize it's so important to spend time with those you love. People are gone before you know it. Spend time with them while you can.

I thought about family. We were sitting in the waiting room, and my sister put her head on my shoulder. And it was like, we were feeling all the same things, and didn't have to say a word. I knew we were gonna get thru this. Family is so important.

I know it wasn't major, major surgery, but still, complications can always arise. And I'm thankful to God that everything turned out good, and thankful always for answered prayers.

I realized that a visit or a call when you're in the hospital means so much. More than you think. Just seeing Dad's reaction when someone would call, or how he'd perk up when a visitor would walk in, was enlightening. You also realize what good people some people are. I mean there were people there who I never dreamed would come by, and there were some maybe you'd expect to visit who didn't. Anyway, what I got from it is that it's very important to visit the sick, and at least to call if you can't visit. Even more important than I thought. It's something I need to do a lot more of.

I saw a little boy drinking from a water fountain, and thought about when I was a kid. Getting a drink from a water fountain was just the greatest thing then, even if you weren't even thirsty. When you're a kid, you can have fun with just about anything. I mean, you could give me a driveway full of rocks, or an empty refrigerator box, and I could have fun for hours, yea days. What about that Slip'n'Slide? There was some safe, high-quality entertainment, wasn't it? I mean, you're hurtling head-first down a hill on a wet, slick, 2-foot-wide piece of material. But kids don't care if they get hurt, as long as they're having fun. I remember sometimes I'd veer off the side of the thing, get all scratched up by the grass, be bleeding or something. But it didn't matter. All that mattered was getting back to the start and getting in line to go again.

I think I would like working in a hospital. I enjoy helping others. It's such a rewarding feeling when you do something for someone else. Esteeming others more than oneself, right? Of course, you don't have to work in a hospital to help others. But I mean, I think a big part of why we're here is to help others, encourage others, help those less fortunate, visit the sick, etc. It really all comes down to selfishness, I think. Sometimes I feel really selfish. But at the same time, I love helping others. I think I'd like working for a charity. There just seems to be such a sense of purpose there, like you're really doing something helpful, not just going into work day after day after day, going thru the motions of our mundane, workaday lives.

"I'm wishin' my daddy was forty again. Then he would be young, and I would be ten. We would go fishin', throw an old ball around. Wash his old truck, go into town. We can never go back to the way it was then. But just for today, I wish he was forty again..."

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