During these crossed paths, however brief they may be, you get to know a little bit about your neighbor going through a similar journey and heck it may remind you of the beginning of yours and maybe what you would have told your own self back then.
There is so no doubt the tenor of fear that permeates the room and the conversations. "Who will take care of this? What will the pain be like? How do you think he's handling this?" Everyone is doing their best to micro-manage a situation that just can't be micromanaged. But that's totally understandable, it's human nature! We need a plan, how the hell do we get out of this long bloody tunnel.
One thing I wish I would've told myself and all of these people around me going through these personal catastrophes...is that YOU ARE STRONG. I want you to know from the very depths of your soul that whatever is in there to get you through this, is in there. You've F'ing got this. Yes, there are ancillary things here - doctors, family, schedules, timing... and having some semblance of a schedule is great, but YOU ALONE ARE STRONG ENOUGH. It's all within you. You can do this. Dig down...find that place. It exists in all of us. Remember that one time, you didn't think you were going to make it....
You did! You got through it and right now you're standing on the other side and you should be prouder than shit of yourself. You were born human. You are a born fighter. You came here for an experience and this is what you chose. Do it, live it, learn it. This is scary and life-upending...but you will get through this. It's part of who you are. It's making you who you are. EMBRACE IT.
If there is one thing that this entire experience has taught me is that people are freaking beautiful creatures. As I started writing this entry and the woman across the curtain divider sat tearfully with her worried, loving husband speaking about their coming week and the pain that may be involved, the nurse working with them shared a story about how she became a nurse. She said she underwent one of the biggest operations of her life right before she entered nursing school. She said she carried that pain at the most basic level and empathy from that experience with her through with her 18 years of school and experience. She said she knows what patients are asking when they want to know what it will be like to have the sutures removed or bandages off. My neighbor became tearful again but for a different reason. It was because she only wanted to be validated in her fears and she was finally being told that someone understood. And that someone loved her enough to explain that to her in order to take some of that fear away. That nurse performed alchemy right there on the spot. She transformed that woman's fear to love in an instant. She turned that dark into light and light/love heals. It made me cry. But that light and love was always in that woman's heart, she just needed to see it for herself and the nurse helped her flip the switch.
People will never fail to amaze me.