It’s almost midnight and I’m sitting in a hospital room with the dim light from the bathroom silhouetting my wife as she lies on her bed struggling to find some peaceful sleep. The sounds of her struggled breathing and her impatient restlessness as she attempts to get comfortable with her body that decided to throw her a curve ball yesterday morning brings as much pain to me as the frustration it brings her. This sound keeps me alert.
In the past thirty-six hours I have been struggling to maintain my sanity, patience and temper as I deal with the unknown. It’s like… like… ya know, this is going to sound a bit odd, but it’s like the first time you ride a new rollercoaster. You know, after you’ve gotten into the car and the lap-bar or shoulder harness collapse down on you, locking you into an experience you can’t really say you wanted to experience but you know you should come out a better person for it. The worry you feel as the train moves out of the station is similar to build up of rushing to the hospital after you’ve received a phone call that no ever wants to receive. The slow ascent up the first and usually highest hill of the roller coaster is like waiting game in the emergency room where information is gleaned by you from passing nurses, EMT’s and doctors as they chit-chat about the cases they are working on. The chit-chat, clikety-clack of their words as foreign to you as Mandarin Chinese is to a forty-five year old Polak from Wisconsin .
My hands grip the bars and my knuckles turn white in fear and the anticipation of the impending downward plunge. The plunge of authentic, tangible, proven results whose layman terminology rhymes with words like choke, scenic, realization and mud-rot. Words which once enter my mind get lost in the ether of numbness, fear and uncertainty. These clikety-clack voices, you soon realize are coming from visitors… friends of my wife, friends of mine, pastors and family from her side and my side. All passengers on this train ride have no clue where the apex of this hill is. We all assume the best, the worst, and the in-between. I try to mask my internal emotions and listen to what is being said on this ride by the screamers, the laughers, the non-verbose and the nay-sayers. Words, platitudes and age old comforting quotes fill the air like the squeak of the wheels on the car you are in and I try hard to accept them with all the earnestness they are delivered. I’m not always successful.
As the train approaches the point of no return, I stare down into the void of what is, what could be and what will be. I put on my brave face and look down into that abyss; I know I’m not alone… I have with me people who have nothing but the best intentions in their mind and love in their hearts.
I know there is another rise at the bottom of the trough I’m about to plunge into, but when will the descent turn into an ascent? I don’t know. I wish I did. But right now… Only One does and I’m trying to wait on him. (And not be angry… again.)