Haven't I Been Here Before?

It's the first day of June...there is the hope of summer in the air.  (Despite the fog and damp.)  The boy and the hubby will be spending most of the day at Six Flags (after an early morning wake up and music competition) and I am at the hospital.

I'm fine (thank you for asking).  So (for the most part) is everyone in my family. (Fine, that is.) My dad is having same day surgery so instead of getting up this morning and doing the regular morning routine, I got the boys up (do you know how happy a tween boy is to wake at 5 in the morning?) and sent them off with a friend and the friend's dad to school and then to the music competition (and then Six Flags).  With them out of the house, I loaded myself up in the car and headed south to my parents.  (Let me tell you if you have travel on the Garden State Parkway the time to do it is early morning.  Even with rain and fog, I made excellent time...even on a Friday morning after Memorial Day.)

So now, here I sit in the Surgical Procedure Waiting room.  Surgery isn't for another hour or so, which means I'm going to be sitting here for a while.  Which brings me to...haven't I been here before?

Yes, I have.  Just about 6 months ago I was sitting in this same wrong.  Not the exact same spot.  I'm experienced now and know where I found the outlets so I can power my laptop and not drain my battery.  Plus I have a window view this time.  And looking at a tree along with a somewhat blue sky is a lot better than watching whatever talk show they have on the screen in the other section of the waiting room.  Yes, this might not be the most fun place to hang on a Friday, but there are plenty of places that could be worse.  

This is my dad's 3rd time here for same day surgery.  I'm hoping it will be the last. But as hospitals go this is a pretty good one.  First and foremost, they have treated my father pretty well here.  That's obviously the most important thing.  As far as I can see everyone here (be they staff or volunteer) treats you patiently and with care.

 For the one that is waiting, the free valet parking (just text to get your car!) takes the worry off of what you are going to do with your car.  (Parking at my "local" hospital can be a challenge and to find a free space meant a hike, which is fine for me, but not for my parents.)  The free Wi-Fi means that I can sit here comfortably and work (even though I've taken the day off) as well as play. (What would we do without social media to update the world on my every move?)  But coolest of all is this giant screen to the left of me that lets me know exactly where my dad is in the process.  (No HIPPA law is broken...each patient is given a number that only my mother and I know.)  Not only does it give me a sense of where we are in the process (as I type this he is in pre-op), it also gives me comfort and relief.  This is where I say "Hoorah for technology!"

I expect to be sitting here for several hours.  I'll work.  I'll write.  I'll read.  I'll hang with my mom.  I'll drink the Wawa diet peach iced tea that I purchased earlier this morning.  (Big plug for Wawa diet peach iced tea, which they SHOULD make in quarts and not just in pints.  Are you listening this time Wawa?)  

But the most important thing is that I will be here.  This is where I need to be.  Not doing anything specific, but just being present.  Present to do whatever might need to be done today or tomorrow or the next day.  Sometimes we all just need to be there.  Not for anything specific; just be.

One of the greatest gifts we can give to anyone is our presence, ourselves.  To be there for someone, but because they need us, but just because.  It's a gift ANYONE can give.  It's a gift you can give at any time.  For me, it's a gift I am glad to give.

And so on this (now) overcast first Friday in June, there is no place I'd rather be then on this gray sofa/loveseat in the surgical procedure waiting room.


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