Friday, September 12, 2008

The Great Equalizer

I have made an important and, in fact, serious observation. Much to my chagrin, I find that Exhibit C and I spend way more time in doctors' office waiting rooms than is imaginable to most peoople. Sometimes we're there for him, sometimes for me. These waiting rooms belong to doctors who specialize in things not talked about too much in polite bloggy chit chat... things like genetics, hematology, endocrinology, rheumatology, pulmonology, radiology and the like. I don't take books or magazines anymore. I am a people watcher and this is some prime people watching time for me.

One day last summer when I walked into one of these offices, there was the cadre of usual suspects already there. It is often humbling and puts things into perspective in about one millisecond, always before the door even closes behind me. No one is there for a good reason. No one is there to simply have a check up and be told to come back in a year. We all sit and wait our turns to be told the course of treatment, the next step, the what ifs and the where tos, what fors and the so whats. For some reason, though, on that particular day something occurred to me that never has before: the specialist waiting room is the great equalizer. It doesn't matter how much money you have or don't have... whether you're a true southerner with the accent to prove it or a damn Yankee transplant, like me. It doesn't matter what you do for a living or what kind of car (or bike) you own or the color of your skin or the country of your birth. In those moments, we are all the same. We are full of frustration, hope, worry and a profound sense of love for our children and the acknowledgement that we are not alone in this journey. So there you have it. A moment of warmth came over my chilly little heart, but directed only at this particular group of people in this particular moment in time.

It passed almost immediately and as soon as I got back outside, just for fun, I pushed down a boyscout and tripped the old lady he was helping across the street.

No comments: