Waiting Room Reflections – Guest Post by Helen Mignon

If you don’t know Helen Mignon, you’re really missing out!

If you do know her (and you may know her as HelenAtRandom or maybe the writer of Random Musings) you will know that Helen has a wonderful heart and an amazing desire to love God more deeply and serve him more fully.

Whoever you are, you can be sure to learn a lot from Helen and I’m honored to have her as a guest blogger today:

Waiting Room Reflections

It’s two in the morning, and I am in a room I don’t belong in… It is dark, except for the light from one bulb, shining over a desk. A few people pass by the big window and wave kindly. A security guard peaks in the window. A transporter walks up to him and whispers in his ear. The guard waves at me

My feet were hurting ,and swollen and, in the interest of treating myself like the friend as I said in my New Year’s Resolution, I asked myself what I would do if I were standing there with a friend whose mom was taking tests in the hospital this late and her feet were that swollen. My answer was to try the door of the closed office to see if it was locked, and suggest she sit down. So I did. Open the door and sit down I mean. I don’t actually talk to myself as if I were a separate person, though I think it works for me as a literary device.

I am amazed by the friendliness and gentleness of the transporters. When my daddy was at this hospital 17 years ago, they threw him around as if he was made of bricks. They handle my mom like she was a Faberge egg, and she has about seventy pounds on him. Don’t tell her I said that. Please. AND, they wouldn’t let me follow HIM for his tests, and HE was dying….

I am amazed by how this hospital has changed over 17 years. It’s like it has grown. It has grown in wisdom. It has grown in compassion. The very Spirit of this place is different. Ten years ago I was afraid to let my mom go to this hospital, for fear of her being treated like daddy was, and me having to lurk and hide to comfort her while waiting an hour in a hallway for a test, and perhaps another to be returned to her room. There is no waiting anymore. She goes right in for her tests, and transporters move her from cart to table and later from table to cart as gently as if she was as precious to them as she is to me…They flirt with the seventy three year old woman to cheer her, asking her which of them is more handsome. She tells the dark haired man he is the better looking, but the other seems smarter… She always liked men with dark hair.

So much has changed in seventeen years. I look at the mirror above the desk, and I see eyes which accept. Accept what, you ask. Accept whatever the next moment is offering. Accept happiness as it is offered, and that sorrow will one day come no matter how long I can avoid it. Accept that happiness and sorrow, loss and gain, are as often out of my hands as they are in my hands. They are different eyes from the ones I tried to will to look less scared, less vulnerable, seventeen years ago. I miss my youth sometimes, but not this part of it. I miss being an optimist. I don’t miss feeling like I had to grab on with both hands to hold onto who I loved, and still feel them slip away…

I have always believed in a person’s ability to grow and change. It is part of life. But institutions, such as a hospital? I am amazed. I am pleased. I am a better person for having witnessed this growth and change.