Today the most beautiful thing happened to me.While working in the surgery waiting area at the James Cancer Hospital, I tend to see a lot of scared faces. As each family is facing their own battle, I find myself relating my personal experiences to their own quite often.
The facial expressions on the faces all seem too familiar. But there was one family that stuck out to me a few weeks ago.
As I sat behind my desk, I saw a mother and a father sitting in the chairs directly in front of me. They were younger parents and I knew that they were here for their daughter who was having surgery that day. As the day went on I continued to watch the fear fill their faces. All I could think about was how my parents just sat in this same waiting room, filled with fear, while their young daughter was in surgery.
I then got up from behind my desk and went and sat next to these parents. I introduced myself to them and we began to talk about the situation I just went through myself and how it was all too familiar. I reassured them that each day everything gets a little easier and that if they needed anything at all while being here at the James, they knew just where to find me.
As the weeks passed by I did not see the family from my waiting room. I prayed that everything was going okay and that the fear they felt that day was slowly turning into hope and strength just as it happened to me.
Today, I was walking down in the lobby of the James during my shift and noticed a stray wheelchair sitting outside the main front doors. As I went out to get it and bring it back in, I turned my shoulder and the mom from the waiting room greeted me with a huge hug. There, standing next to the valet parking station, we began to talk about her daughter and how tonight she finally got to go home. The mom asked me to please follow them to their car out front where her daughter sat wrapped in a blanket in the front seat, ready to go home. I met their daughter and asked her how happy she felt to finally get to leave. She smiled and expressed how excited she was just as I recall feeling a couple months back. As I shut the door to their car, the mom hugged me again. She told me how it was just “meant to be” to run into them on their last day, just as I sat with them on their first. The pain that I saw in her eyes on day 1 was gone. She had a smile on her face and hope in her heart. As the family sat in their car, I watched them pull away. With tears in my eyes, I smiled.
This is what life is all about.