We sit in Dr. Varipapa’s office, Cecilia and I. It was time for her six month checkup and this was the date I agreed upon last fall. For some reason, it went longer than the six months, but it still rolls around too quickly.
Cecilia sits in her transport chair. She has complained about almost everything this morning, but now, we are sitting still and the atmosphere is not wracked with noise. No squalling babies, rambunctious children, spatting spouses or loudly streaming office music. She sits quietly and there is a gentle companionship in the silence.
I look across the floor to where the sunshine is spilling in, and the cheery brightness calls to me. If there was a way, I would hug it to my chest. There’s been so little of it this year. Across the room, there is a woman swinging her feet like a pendulum gone berserk, but she is quiet. I smile at her and she smiles back. This is a neurologist’s office. Most of the people here aren’t here for the fun of it. I wonder if she is a patient or if she is waiting on someone. There is a plethora of people here, all silent today. There are the aged, and the middlers and the young. The thing that gets to me the most are the very young – the toddlers and the babies. There are so many neurological issues on every economic scale, and I wonder at the courage and hope and love that are within these walls.
I look at BL’s hands, twisted on her lap, Her head is down, and she sometimes taps her foot impatiently. She hates going to the doctor. She hates any upset to her carefully laid out routines. She hates to be hurried. She hates going out in the cold. She hates to wait. On this particular morning, she’s had hearty aberrations in all areas of preference. I think about life for her and the comforting patch of sunshine on the floor seems to stand in sharp contrast of all the things her life holds.
Cecilia turned 70 this week. Her entire life has been at the direction of people who make the rules, decide where she is going and when she is going. She lives in darkness. She lives with needs she cannot express. She is dependent on the whims of a caregiver who, though I care very much, often has to guess at what she wants and what she needs and what is best to do for her. I often think her grimaces and noises of protest are because she has pain – but I cannot prove it, and I am unable to say where it originates. What would it be like to be her? If only I could understand!
There are mysterious patterns crisscrossing the patch of light on the floor of the pleasant waiting room. I think about the mysteries of life – “That shadows fall on brightest hours, that thorns remain . . .” (See link at the end of this post to hymn written by Adelaide Proctor, 1858, sung by Vision Quartet) There have been a lot of shadows on our brightest hours over the last months. I would be remiss to pretend those things haven’t affected us deeply, but there is the Light! That comforting patch of light where the Sonbeams dance around the shadows, where the dust particles are transformed into glitter, where tears become prisms that can draw the focus away from the darkness. If only I could understand!
But when I cannot understand; when I sit in God’s waiting room, wringing my hands and tapping my feet; when I’m blind to the beauty around me- then may the warmth of His Light, streaming through the windows of my soul, comfort me and distract me from my introspective sadness and turn my heart towards His Light and give me hope for a brighter tomorrow.
And my heart gives grateful praise.