Tag Archives: Hope

On This Earth

A writer I much admire once wrote, “. . . waiting is the tense in which life is truly written.” Those words struck a chord with me when I read them three years ago. They’ve never left me. And sometimes when I am sitting in my rheumatologist’s waiting room, I think of how true those words are.

Reading Billies’ excellent post on waiting reminds me I meant to write about my time spent in that waiting room. While I was there in May, I came to the hard decision of looking for another doctor. Though things flow at a creeping pace at this office, I arrive on time at 3:30 p.m.

At 5:00 p.m. I see the front desk receptionist walk by me with her purse. She hasn’t yet taken my co-pay. I’d signed in and exchanged pleasantries with her and then taken my seat in the crowded waiting room. Deep into my reading, I only entertain a passing mental query as she goes by. After all, there is other staff.

At 5:30 p.m. the tech who does the preliminary workup, vitals and the dreaded weigh-in, sees me through the open sign-in window. “Did they pull your chart?” he asks.

I shrug my shoulders. How do I know?

He walks around and opens the door for me. “I’m sorry,” he says, as he escorts me toward the back. He chats with me as he works, asking how my writing is going. Fine, I say.

Before I’m shown to an exam room, I have to go up front and give my co-pay. “I can’t take a credit card. It’s after five,” says the young girl left at the front desk.

I shrug again. Not my problem. I’ve been there more than two hours by then. Somehow she gets it done.

I text my husband: “Two hours and haven’t been seen.”

“Unacceptable,” he fires back.

Sometime after 6:00 p.m. the PA comes in and makes himself comfortable. He takes an extensive history, dating from my last visit two months previously. He conscientiously taps onto his laptop my every utterance it seems. He asks me how to spell a word; I tell him. “I hate English,” he says with a sheepish grin. “It has its quirks,” I say.

He spends over 30 minutes with me, typing, chatting. I feel like I’m with family, the whole process is so familiar. With a shake of the hand he leaves me to my reading and waiting.

Around 7:00 p.m. my doctor walks in; smiling, he extends his hand towards me. He’s always smiling and he always shakes my hand. “How are you doing?” he asks. “Sorry about the wait.”

“It’s OK,” I murmur.

He meticulously reads what the PA wrote, then reviews certain comments/complaints. Satisfied with my responses, he asks me to step up onto the exam table.

He bends every one of my fingers by turn (ouch), then has me lie back and proceeds to bend my legs, my arms (no problem there), and listens to my heart, my lungs. He guides me to sit up and then checks my eyes and inside my mouth searching for RA’s sidekick, dryness of the mucous membranes. All checks out and he goes back to the desk. I step down and go sit across from him.

He checks his phone researching something for several long minutes, then comes to a decision regarding my current medications. He goes over the protocol with me. “You’re doing very well,” he says with that smile.

Returning his smile, I lock eyes with him for a moment. We are coming to the end of this slow-moving ballet we’ve engaged in for almost a decade.

And I remember why.

Because of him, I remain here, on this earth.

We shake hands and I make my way to the front desk. I schedule my next appointment, then exit the office. It is now 8:00 p.m.

Written for: Weekly Writing Challenge: Fit to Write

To The Future!

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. That sounds so cliché.

Today is the first day of the second part of my life. That sounds horrendous!
Who wants to live 120 years?

Today is just another day, another Saturday in a long string of Saturdays I have lived through. Another Saturday in perhaps a future string of Saturdays awaiting me. I hope not too many.

Both my parents lived another 29 years from the point I’m standing in now. 29 years. I think if I was offered another 29 years, I would say, No, thank you.

If I knew I could live what would essentially be the last third of my life as I am now, the physical status I’m in at present, RA and all, I might say yes. Enthusiastically, yes!

But, we can’t know what is to come. There are no guarantees.

And I suppose it’s just as well.

So, I raise my glass in a toast as I blindly go where I have never gone before.

To the future!!

Our Daily Prompt

Today’s daily prompt says to write our obituary.
My first reaction was eww!
I prefer to write about living,
the joy, the sadness,
the longing, the hope
that makes us go from one day into another.
Because no matter what happens today,
whether it’s good or bad,
uplifting or devastating,
we go to bed knowing
there’s always tomorrow.

Leaving On a Jet Plane

It’s a free, floaty feeling to loosen the ties that bind, even for a little bit. For no matter how lovingly they encircle you, they still keep you in place, grounded.  And though that does provide comfort and a sense of security, I look forward to breaking free, taking a hiatus, leaving the daily grind behind, for just a little while.

What makes this voyage that I’m about to embark on seem even more buoyant is that I literally don’t know when I’ll be back again.  My trip has no expiration date. And that’s OK. Like Scarlett O’Hara, I will think about that tomorrow.

When I’m lifted up into that clear blue yonder, I will be suspended between the bookends of my life here and my life elsewhere. I will be alone, alone surrounded by strangers. All of us traveling inside our own cocoon of solitude, for truly that is how we traverse this life, accompanied yet alone.

I am not so much moving away from one point as I am progressing toward another. I am going to, not going from. I fly to welcome an angel that has landed on this earth. A little soul who is a bridge between the life I live now and the life I tried to live then.

As much as I loved back then, I was unable to give my son, her father, what I most wanted to. A home with his own mother and father.  The love I feel for him is forever framed by the guilt I carry. A guilt that is somewhat assuaged by the fact that though we divorced each other, we did not divorce him. I know both his father and I love him dearly, our firstborn.

Yet now is not the time to dwell on that particular arc of our family history. My son has given me a gift that will take me even further back in time, a granddaughter who carries my mother’s name.  There is no doubt this new baby’s life will be one of privilege my mother could not even begin to imagine. A child sent out into the world at the age of seven to earn her keep would have no reference of what it meant to have a stable, secure life with two loving parents.

But, this Carmen will. And when I finally hold her great-granddaughter in my arms, I know my mother will smile down at me from the heavens I’d just been so close to.