Hospital Beds

I’m sitting again by a hospital bed.

It dawned on me the events we mark in our lives, sitting quietly beside a hospital bed. Tragic, joyous, courageous, meek…sometimes, stupid and with enough hindsight, a little funny.

As a child, I learned to mourn as my grandparents grew old and ill, confined to a hospital bed. The vigil of family saying last words to the departing, me barely able to comprehend death itself.

As an adult, I spent the last hours I would ever spend with my mother at the side of her hospital bed. I did not know it at the time. I did not say goodbye, just that I loved her and would see her soon. I never saw her again as she passed during the night. I know I will still see her again.

By a hospital bed, I stood as partner to the mother of my soon to be born daughter. I stood helpless and brave as she gave birth to our cherished miracle. Only to stand quiet, helpless vigil as father and newborn to a woman slowly deteriorating due to complications, in that same hospital bed. Overjoyed that she survived to be an amazing mother and friend.

I too have spent my time in the hospital beds. Once as a child, from youthful exuberance with consequences. Once as an adult, from prideful foolishness that had consequences. Neither dire to anything but ego and insurance premiums.

And I spent one more time in a hospital bed, facing the darkness and demons of utter surrender. I thank god for those who stood vigil over me, in this plane and beyond.

And once again, tonight, I sit by a hospital bed. Hoping for the best possible outcome, there if I’m needed, thankful and grateful to even be here to hold vigil.

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