The sign says, “Sign Here and Have A Seat”. That is usually the information you get as you sign in to see a physician these days. If the room is full then you are probably in for a wait. After they take your money you get to sit. If you do not bring your own reading material they will have some provided for you. The ones they like, not the ones you as a patient might like.
I don’t touch them. I try not to touch anything while I am there. I am not OCD or paranoid. I have a compromised immune system, just following doctor’s orders, to protect myself. Waiting rooms could be a bacteria and virus breeding ground. So I take a cloth handkerchief, like my mother and my grandmother did. It’s the Southern Belle in me. I use it to open doors, etc. Can’t be too careful.
Because I am in the waiting room I am either sick or getting over being sick. The first time I went to see my kidney specialist I, of course, had to provide a urine sample. It takes talent to give a urine sample and not touch anything. With the seat covering in place I sit and hold the cup strategically. This too takes talent. I had to lay my beautiful embroidered lace cotton handkerchief in my lap while my new fringe purse balanced on a safety bar.
As I feared I went over, too much volume for the cup. It’s a long way from Haleyville to Florence. When the flow starts, at 56 years old it ain’t stopping. Yea! So much for gracefully aging.
So now, cup full, somehow I have to set the cup somewhere, the floor is the only flat surface. (How thoughtful infection control wise is that?) So, I pour half of it out cause it is running over. I don’t how I contorted my old broken self into getting up, and waddling to the sink with my pants down to my knees, to wash the pee pee off my right hand.
As I moved toward the sink trying not to spill the cup on the floor, my beautiful handkerchief fell in the commode and before I could take a breath the automatic flusher set at maximum suction took it! Whoosh!! It was gone. I got so tickled I had to waddle back to the commode to sit down and laugh.
The patient bathroom is right off the waiting room, so I was trying not to laugh out loud. I got control of myself, washed my hands, still laughing dressed myself. I had to improvise and use paper towels now since my hanky was long gone. Not touching anything again I opened the little door provided for samples.
I was able to keep a straight face to rejoin Keith in the waiting room. He thought I had been crying. There was no way I could have told him right then. I said, “I’ll tell ya later.”
I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. I used to laugh like that with my mother. It was like she was there laughing with me again. I even said, outloud, “Momma, that is so funny.” After all, it was her hanky. It felt so good to laugh like that again.
I come from a family of folks who loved to laugh. Mother would get so tickled she would have tears running down. Daddy would laugh so hard his stomach would hurt. Me, I just laughed and laughed until they stopped. Sweething would get so tickled too. And especially Uncle Millard, my Great Uncle. He loved to laugh more than anyone I have ever known. And his wife, my Aunt Mae was a laugher too and a jokester. She would get so tickled. When I was a kid and even as an adult, all my life with them, whenever we were together we laughed. Except at church or a funeral-but sometimes those got funny too.
We were at a funeral of a family member and it was a sad grievous time. A close relative, I won’t say who here because I know I hurt her son’s feelings because he saw me laughing. He was so sad and there I was laughing but I could not help it.
Aunt Mae and Uncle Millard always drove over to Haleyville from Hartselle where they lived about 45 miles away, through the Bankhead National Forest. So, they met us at the funeral home. We were already there and then I saw them coming. I always went directly toward them-our love was like a magnet. We hugged and walked toward the others.
We were coming up to the chapel where the body lay in state, and our family all standing around in the lobby before the service. Aunt Mae whispered something to me and I misunderstood what she said. I thought she said, “where’s the body?” So I pointed into the chapel where the coffin could be seen.
She started laughing and now trying to whisper and laugh she said, “No, the potty!”
I really didn’t think we were going to be able to walk the 30 feet to the restroom door but we made it. We got inside and broke up laughing. It was just to funny. She was trying to get her girdle and panty hose down before she tee teed on herself from laughing. She was in her 60s I guess at this time.
We got ourselves straightened up. Got our “tickle box turned back over” she said. And went out to join the others in the serious solemn occasion.
I love the deceased person’s son more than I could ever explain and when I walked out of the restroom the first thing I saw was his face. He wasn’t laughing. His mother was dead and he was very sad. Immediately I was sad with him, sat by him and stuck real close to him until he started smiling again. Before long, months I suppose, we were all laughing again.
One by one as they have gone before me to heaven, the laughter has too. Oh I still laugh just not with so much abandon and freeness as I did with them. One day, we will laugh together again.
As my mother was dying I slept in the bed next to her. One night she was resting better. All of sudden she started laughing. I got up and said, “Momma, what is so funny?”
Without opening her eyes, and smiling so pretty, she said, “That Uncle Millard..” Still laughing I said, “What is he doing?”
She said, “Walking down the road laughing, just laughing.”
She never opened her eyes, she just smiled for a while and went back to sleep. Some could argue that she was dreaming and talking in her sleep. She wasn’t. I am her daughter, I know. I knew then and I know now. She saw him in heaven………and I will too.
I started this post talking about waiting rooms. Life is one big huge waiting room. It gets smaller as we get older, but that’s ok. Good things come to those who wait, trust, and believe. I believe.
Love for you today
Grace beyond measure be yours.