Friday, September 10, 2010
"I'm not feeling very wise, or old," Jack thought to himself, sitting in the waiting room on the second floor of the hospital. He was alone, but there were dozens of people around him, people he knew and people he didn't know. They were loud. But he was alone. "Mzee my ass", he whispered to himself, his lips barely moving as he spoke. He felt guilty for saying it, even to himself. In front of the large window that faced west, he could see remnants of the Texas sun, trying to show herself while the storm clouds were moving fast across the sky. Lots of clouds, they blocked the sun and it was gray - everywhere - it was dark and gray.
"Isn't this a beautiful hospital Jack?" someone asked, he couldn't tell who exactly, he was distracted by the clouds. "Ya, they really do things different these days, don't they," he relied weakly. It had been a stressful day at work. It had been a stressful week at work. The timing couldn't be worse. Jack was feeling guilty for being distracted, for putting too much emphasis on things like work at a time like this. He was feeling guilty for feeling guilty. "It means nothing, nothing at all", he whispered to himself.
Jack was inside, inside himself, and reflecting on just what was going on. He didn't know what was going on. His phone rang and he took the call as he moved to the back of the room so he wouldn't be distracted. "Noise, it's all just noise", he thought as he ended the call..
Everything was happening in slow motion. Nothing seemed real. Jack looked down and couldn't tell where the walls and the floor met - the colors ran together. Jill came over and excitedly held up her cell phone to Jack, without saying a word. "He's here!" it said - a text msg from the labor room in the back. He's here. It was about 6pm. Jack looked up and out the large picture window of the hospital. He stared at the cars passing and at the people coming and going from the parking lot below. A heavy summer wind blew the trees.
Two months earlier Jack watched as his baby boy was married. It was impossible, his son, his only son, had met and married the love of his life. It was impossible that just 'yesterday' that kid was swinging Ninja swords and riding bikes through the neighborhood. Just 'yesterday' he was playing junior high football. Just 'yesterday' he was in high school facing the giants and battling for his life. Just 'yesterday' he drove off to college in his little red car.
And, just two months earlier Jack watched as his beautiful sister finally surrendered to cancer. Just 'yesterday' that sister was singing in high school musicals. Just 'yesterday' that beautiful sister was buying him coffee at Starbucks as they traded family story's, laughed and shared dreams.
And now, today, Ledger appeared. He had landed on planet earth. "Ledger Cross", Jack whispered to himself. Jack stared out the large picture window, to the western sky. The clouds were gone - absolutely gone, and the sun was getting lower on the horizon, turning the sky a bright orange and red - uninhibited. Every cloud had disappeared, absolutely gone from the sky.
It took just seconds.
Anything was possible. Jack moved through the hospital corridors, the long hallways, found and pushed the heavy door open, and saw his beautiful daughter in a big bed with a big smile. The room smelled good, it smelled new and fresh.
She was holding Ledger, in a tight little bundle.
"Hey Mzee!" she cried out.