Wasn't it ..?
The hall lights have dimmed, and the crowds of people have gone home or left this side of the hospital. Standing at the window I watch life flight land on top of the other tower, the sound of the helicopter reverberates against the window as I watch it descend to the roof and disappear out of sight. I turn slowly on my heal and move back to the corner and take up my silent vigil on the small couch in the dimmed waiting room. Realizing slowly that I am all alone in this big empty space and the lack of noise is both quiet and defining at the same time.
As the sound of clock on the wall ticks, I hear the soft padding of somebody walking quickly down the hallway. I sit up to attention in hopes that it is a nurse but it is an elderly man looking drained and stressed. We smile to each other and nod quietly, he looks around the room at all the empty seats and sighs. I tell him the coffee is around the corner and bathrooms are down the hall. He takes a deep breath and heads to pour himself a cup of coffee and sit down in other part of the waiting room. As I curl back up on the couch and continue waiting I hear another person walking with short decisive stride heading to the waiting room. A woman with a small stature but commanding presence looks around and locks eyes with me. "Ms. LeBlanc?" I nod, at her and she informs me that they are moving my mom up to a floor in the east tower. She nods and hands me a sticky note with my moms room number and walks back down the hall from which she came.
After gathering up my belongings I start to head away from the room that I have called my home for the last 11 hours. I pause at the hall and look over my shoulder at the elderly man sitting by the wall looking at his coffee. I am sure he is thinking how bad the coffee is and praying or begging God to help him in some way.
Heading the the elevator I pull out the map I was given early today and start trying to figure out where I am going. One elevator ride later and a long hallway walk later I standing at the intersection of three hallways and looking confused. I feel a soft tap on my elbow and dang near jump out of my skin. I turn around to see an elderly woman standing there in a janitor uniform. "Honey are you lost?" she asks with a hint of joy and compassion in her tone. I look at her and nod, and pull the sticky note out of my pocket and hand it to her. She guides me to an elevator around the corner and steps in with me. I start to tell her its okay, that I can go from here. She nods and gets in anyway, during the short elevator ride she looks at me and nods, "Honey its gunna be okay." Startled I look at her with confusion as the elevator door dings open. She taps my elbow and states it again "Honey, it will all be okay." She points down the hall and I step out and look down the hall. The elevator doors close behind me and I stand to gather my thoughts. This complete stranger seemed to know what I needed to hear. This complete stranger seemed to breathe calmness into my being and allowed me to step towards my mother who needed me more than ever. I doubt very seriously I will ever see that woman again, but her simple act of kindness anchored be back to this struggle I was currently in, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Later that night, I curled up in my mothers bed surrounded by her things and a few of my fathers. I looked to the corner of the room at his dresser that he brought to Texas with him so many years ago. Knowing this dresser has seen him through many milestones and losses in his life. Now seeing this dresser has seen me through some dark moments. I lay there in that bed worrying about my mother, stressed about not being with my daughter and still grappling with the loss of my father. One thought kept surfacing "Wasn't it supposed to be more beautiful than this...?"
Wasn't the chemotherapy supposed to cure my mothers cancer?
Wasn't my father supposed to get sober many years ago?
Wasn't my daughter supposed to be raised by two parents instead of one?
Wasn't my life supposed to be more put together than this?
Wasn't it supposed to be more beautiful than this?
This morning as I walked out to check water troughs and put eyes on all my horses while they eat I glanced up at the sky. The sky was brushed with the lightest of blues while tones of pink whispered beneath the clouds, I was thinking about this life I have been given. Maybe if I tried trusting myself to do the next right thing, to believe in the people that are drawn into my world, and to just breathe in times of turmoil, that I would begin to see how beautiful my life is. Then I can continue to make my life even more beautiful than this ... one right thing at a time.