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Standing on the outside

Tonight, I had a couple of deadlines to meet; one for work and one for a class I am taking.  I also had to get started on an assignment for another class.  By the time I got the deadlines met, I had to start on the assignment.  It was 10 pm.

Part of my assignment was taking night pictures of signs that represented my life.  I drove up to the hospital, with the thought of taking a picture of the 'emergency' sign.  Once up there, it just didn't seem like the shot I wanted.

As I was leaving the circle drive, a white truck flew up the driveway of the hospital and into the circle drive where patients are dropped off for the ER.  I was caught off guard by the speed at which they traveled so I just sat there, stunned.

The truck hadn't even come to a full stop when a woman jumped out of the passenger side running to the main entrance doors.  She didn't realize that because of the late hour, those doors get locked and only the ER doors are open.  The young driver jumped out and the two of them were running back and forth in front of the hospital, almost confused, as if someone had been spinning them in circles then watched them stumble across the floor.  You could not only see the tension in their faces but feel it in the air.  It was such a commotion.
Within seconds, a nurse came running out of the ER doors with a wheelchair and they pulled a man from the truck.  He was clutching his chest, and drooped over in the wheelchair.  The nurse ran with the man through the double doors, his family trailing behind.

It was an eerie sight.  To be watching from a distance, this woman's world completely unravel, struck me with such heartache and loneliness.

 All I could do was stare blankly.  I wanted to cry really.  I'm not sure it was for her or the man I suspected to be her husband.

Maybe, it was that I realized, I haven't had a moment of chaos like this for a few weeks.  Things have been relatively quiet on the health front.  We are adjusting to Cardio Pulmonary Rehab and all the feelings that have come with that.  We haven't had any infections lately, no doctor appointments, no traumas to speak of.

Not only was I watching her from the outside but I feel like I have been watching my own life from outside the place where I usually stand.  In fact, I've been watching all sorts of people just on the fringes of their life.  Total strangers in fact.

This morning, I had a doctor's appointment for myself.  It's a small office and you hardly see a soul in the waiting room.  As I left my appointment, curled up in a wing back chair was a young boy.   He was dressed in black, almost too big for the chair.  His black mop of matted hair hung down over his eyes.  He was alone and I felt sad... so sad!  I had to hurry out.  I hate to think of the trouble that others live with, the way their heart breaks too at times. The thought that we all have our secret hurts, and wounds we nurse, embarrassed to admit for one minute that life is just no fun at times. Sometimes, the pieces spill out in the chaos as we stand back and watch it all fall apart.

Now that I think about it...I don't like standing on the outside, watching from a distance.  It feels helpless and chaotic.  I want to be on the inside or nowhere at all.   Like watching that poor woman run in seemingly slow motion from door to locked door at the hospital tonight. Sometimes, it's just too much.



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