I have spent the past two weeks in the hospital and now at a rehab facility on behalf of my brother, Russ, who is suffering from cancer that has made its' way into his bones and brain.
Through this recent experience, I was very much aware of the suffering of others. As we go through our daily lives, living out our routines, there are many who are pacing the hallways of hospitals, rehab centers, assisted living places and other healthcare facilities.
Hallways are lonely places where there may be quick glances, some eye contact and the infrequent greeting, as staff and guests pass one another. While walking through the hallways of hospitals and healthcare facilities these past two weeks, I was was very much aware of the sense of waiting . . . waiting for pain meds, waiting for the nurse or the doctor, waiting and hope for recovery or waiting for death. Even in the hallways where newborn babies are born, there is not always joy in every room, because not all babies go home with their mommy and daddy, too many are taken home to Heaven too soon.
This was the first time that I was aware that we were souls passing in the hallways - because since the death of our son, Kevin, in 2002, I am much more aware of the heartache and sufferings of others.
The souls that I have passed throughout the past two weeks were unique; some with heads down, some with head up greeting the day (or night) with obvious hope; some in despair; some moving slowly, timid and non-assuming; some fighting and making things more difficult by their strivings and some simply walking with no particular expression on their face, a blank stare seemingly lost in their thoughts, perhaps even in shock or numb.
I will not easily forget the wife waiting at her huband's bedside with the hope that he would open his eyes and survive the auto accident that threatened his life; the man who had back surgery who complained all the way up and down the hall, as he was walking with his Physical Therapist; and then there was me - standing in the hall, when my brother was attended to by the nurses, waiting to talk to his doctors, pacing up and down, going to the kitchen to get my brother water and the many leanings up against the hallway walls, bowed over with grief, in the moments when I feared for my brother's life,
Healthcare professionals are my new heroes and I shall never forget the doctors and nurses that cared for my brother.
The next time I am walking down 'hallways," I know that I will be aware of the souls passing by and will whisper a prayer on their behalf, for those who are thosewho are waiting and walking in the halls because someone they care about is suffering.
Walking the Hallways of Life,
Angie "a mom like you"