Friday, October 21, 2011

The Magic of an Ordinary Day

Yesterday I was walking through the outpatient part of a hospital racing to a benefits meeting. I was bemoaning in my head that I had to run there on my lunch break and hoping I could get everything done that I needed to in the 45 minutes I had.

Hospitals are good places for perspective and, as it turns out, I've been praying for more.

I forced myself to slow down. The world wouldn't end if I was gone 46 minutes. I could feel the Spirit whisper, "don't rush. Don't miss this moment."

I still had to be responsible with my day. I couldn't stop and smell the roses or wander along on my happy way. But, I could notice.

Immediately my eyes fell on a younger man in a wheel chair with a balding head and a broken heart. He was very thin and apparently very ill. I wondered if he wouldn't rather have my life today.

I walked by the waiting room where a woman was rocking with her head in hands. Worry seeped from her pores while awaiting word from a loved one's procedure. I wondered if she would rather be running late for a meeting instead.

A man walked by me very slowly on crutches in a seemingly large amount of pain. I wondered if he would trade being busy at lunch for the ability to move freely.

An older woman on oxygen, and still struggling to breathe, was in the lobby. She was fragile and weak. Her bony fingers grasped the chair for dear life with every inhale. I wondered if she wouldn't gladly take the cold I'd been frustrated about just to be able to take a deeper breath.

I went to my meeting signing the forms for benefits I hope I never need. Cancer policies and accident coverage. Disability. Medical coverage and preventative measures. Sign here, here and here and you'll be covered if the unthinkable surfaces. Allegedly.

I tucked the forms into my purse and walked back down the hallways. Those I had seen before were on their way elsewhere and new people occupied the chairs. I prayed that peace would envelop that place and that I would never miss or take for granted the magic of an ordinary day.


John Reasons said...

Amazing how much we miss as we rush through life. What a great reminder to keep our eyes and hearts open.

Rob said...

What John said.

Having spent much of the weekend visiting my mom in a nursing facility, I can fully appreciate your observations.

The folks there have lived full, vital, active, meaningful lives, but that does not diminish their current pain, illness, or immobility. It reminds me that I need to embrace what life is offering me now, while I am (relatively) healthy enough to take part in it.

On a related (but not closely) subject, most of the "kids" visiting their parents there are my age or older! Make room, Mom, I'm getting ready to move in. (Seriously, they live in a wonderful lifecare community and have an apartment I could be very happy in. Plus a great restaurant that serves Penn State ice cream for dessert!)