Friday, December 10, 2010

Room #3

Can you remember where you were when you first heard about the airplanes crashing in to the twin towers? I can. I was at my doctors office with my three month old daughter. We were in room #3. I've always liked room 3 because it has its own bathroom. I was holding Margaret, awaiting the doctor, when nurse Evelyn walked by and told me the second plane just hit the second tower. Remember how that changed everything? I had heard about the first plane in the car on the way over. I thought it was tragic, I couldn't believe it, and of course I thought it was an accident. But sitting there with my new baby girl in my arms, our world altered forever upon hearing about the second plane hitting the second tower.

Room 3. It has a poster with about 75 pictures of wildlife that is native to East Texas. I like this poster. It keeps me occupied while I'm waiting for my doctor. I've read about bobcats, deer, squirrells, and snakes through three pregnancies, a miscarriage, an occassional feverish child, vaccinations, nothing overly serious. I like the old timey medicine cabinet in room 3; it is metal with glass doors. I think it would look good in my kitchen.

So there I was in room 3 when my world changed again. I sat, waiting, knowing it was about to change. I could feel it all around me; the tilt of the receptionists' head when she called us in; the tight lipped smile from the nurse as she showed us to room 3, the hand on my arm as we went through the door. I'm sitting in room 3 looking in the old cabinet. I can see through the glass there is a plastic box labeled with red lettering. It says "Life Saving" on the side. I wonder why it is behind a glass door that is locked. If I truly need it to save my life, where will I find the key? How long will it take me to find the right person who knows exactly where the key is? Will I expire looking for the key?

Room 3 has a new picture. It's a rather nice painting of two adobe houses in what looks to be a New Mexico type setting. It has some beautiful colors in it. Under the picture is my husband. He looks so handsome in his blue sweater. I bought it for him about three years ago and today is the first time he is wearing it. It still has the tag in the back collar; he wouldn't let me take it off when I helped him put it on. The blue really brings out his eyes. He has gorgeous blue eyes. I'm looking at his blue jeans and I'm thinking I've never noticed how blue the blue is in those jeans. Huh, isn't it strange the door moulding is missing a piece..I've never noticed that before. I'm sitting in a chair directly opposite from my husband. We are on opposite sides of the room, but close enough that if we stretch our legs out, we can touch our feet, and we do...several times...first the right, then the left, then we smile at each other. I sit up straight, center myself; I feel the floor beneath my feet, the chair beneath my legs, my spine is straight and i follow the feeling up to my head. I breathe deeply. I look at him and smile.

The door on room 3 is slightly ajar. I can hear conversations outside the room, down the hall. Isn't it amazing how our brains can pick up and follow two to three conversations at a time? I've heard this is easier for women to do. I believe that. There is a woman whose husband has a second infection in his leg. Another woman whose mother is trying to live with cancer. They are all concerned, they are all so brave and strong sounding. Someone asks if there are non latex gloves...there are nitrile gloves here in room 3, I think to myself; and I look at him and we smile at each other. He is clean shaven, fresh haircut, and looks so handsome.

Then I hear the shuffle outside the door, the doctor comes in, greets us, sits down, and simply says "It's a brain tumor".


Aidan said...

I cannot tell you how I even feel about this post. It is so beautifully written. I am moved. To tears.
Many tears.

susan* said...

Thank you. I reread it and cried too. But that was eons ago and there are many reasons to smile now. :)