Yesterday I had a doctor’s appointment. As I tend to do when faced with medical tests-I felt sorry for myself. I didn’t want to be there, nor did I want to be there alone. Aside from a crazed Indian yelping on CNN there was a family in the waiting room with me.
I soaked in the scene under the endoscopy sign: The grandmother smiled at me as she rocked an infant. The mother held the toddler and the father was taking care of the mother.
I watched them as I fiddled with my hospital wristlet and tried to quell the anxiety rising from my chest. I realized a bit late that their toddler was the patient. She looked to be between three and four. I also realized they had parked next to me and wondered if they saw me scrambling from my car nervous and irritated. It’s strange the things that cross your mind when you’re trying to distract yourself.
The grandmother smiled at me a few more times and something inside of me softened and melted onto the gravy smelling walls. I felt like such a douche bag for feeling sorry for myself when who knows what “test” that poor toddler had in store. I smiled back at her and was thankful for the human contact. I remembered what Frankl said about life-life involves suffering. We need to remember that someone is watching us, it’s to our benefit to behave courageously, no one likes a pity party. I often forget that and immediately start to inflate the balloons and set out the plates.
I hope the toddler is ok. I’m grateful to the grandmother who has no idea what she did by smiling at me. I suppose I wasn’t alone after all. I have much to be grateful for. Least of all, my toddler is healthy. I’d gladly succomb to any test if it meant that last sentence would hold true over time.