Hurry Up and Wait

“You want to be wise, but all you are is a child yourself in a larger body. Nothing is ever what it seems. The things that you think you know are never certain. I know that, now. I wish that I didn’t, but I do.” (Robert Crais, The Last Detective)

The book is one I borrowed from my mother’s bookshelf and tucked into my purse late Monday night at her suggestion.

“We’re going to be a while,” she said. “It’ll give you something to do.”

I wanted to tell her I’d have plenty to do, pacing and wondering and worrying and whatnot, but I didn’t. Instead I hugged her and told her thanks. And I told her I loved her.

And I tried to read while I sat in the waiting room Tuesday morning. I really did.

In fact I got all the way to page 17 before those sentences grated along my already jagged edges.

Because I wanted to be wise. And more than that, I wanted to be brave. But I just felt like a scared little kid in an overgrown body who just wanted her mommy.

And my mommy was somewhere deep in the Radiology department…

Cape Fear Valley Medical Center…where a highly trained and highly capable team was extracting tissue samples from the mass in her left lung a CT scan discovered late last week.

And knowing that she was going to be a while, and knowing that a book, no matter how well recommended, was not going to distract me, I decided to wander a bit.

Outside I discovered some soothing landscape features…

Small Waterfall…and flowers blooming despite the heat and the drought…

Hibiscus…and in the lobby I found the Valley Perks kiosk where they brewed me up a completely awesome mocha latte which I sipped while listening to the self-playing baby grand piano.

Yeah, seriously. The hospital has a self-playing baby grand piano in the lobby. Which I always thought was a bit weird. But as I sat and sipped, I found it relaxing. Which is probably why they put it in the lobby in the first place. For people like me, who are on so on-edge that they don’t really need an overly-sugared and overly-caffeinated drink in the first place.

And as I sat and sipped and listened to piano music, I watched a nurse wheel a new and beautifully glowing mom with her new and tightly swaddled baby girl through the lobby and out to a car piloted by a new and obviously nervous dad.

I didn’t take a photo, though I wanted to ask if I could.

Because it was that beautiful brand-new family that reminded me that we can’t control a lot of the stuff that life brings to our doorstep. But we can control how we handle it. And I could choose to let my mom’s still-in-process diagnosis paralyze me and depress me and scare me and piss me off, or I could decide I was simply going to be what I wanted to be. Brave.

Wise doesn’t exist anywhere in my repertoire.

And so I wandered back to the radiology area and calmly waited for the nurse to take me back to the recovery area where I could wait for my mother’s “conscious sedation” to wear off. (See what I mean about not being wise? A wise woman would understand why “conscious sedation” renders people unconscious.)

Afterwards I took her home.

So that we can wait some more.

For pathology reports. And treatment plans. And other things that I can’t yet imagine.

So if you tuned in today looking for something a bit more inspiring or uplifting than this post, I apologize. But this blog is titled a La Vida Lindsay for a reason…it’s the place I share my life. And right now the mass in my mom’s chest is part of it.

But so is the outdoor rug I wanted to finish over the weekend, before I fell apart and let the five-year old that resides somewhere not-so-deep inside me take over.

And I think that part of being brave is just getting on with stuff. Stuff I love. Stuff that makes me happy.

So outdoor rug…here I come.

What are you working on that makes you happy?



Categories: Family Life

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