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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Hospitals

Monday, October 4, 2004

This has been the worst day of my life. I knew that the time was short. It had been something that we had known ever since Mama had called me Thursday night. I had known it deep down ever since I went for a visit last week.
Nannie died this morning. My next door neighbor my entire life, the woman who was like a grandmother to me and my sisters. I had done some bad things in my life, but no matter how badly I screwed up, she always welcomed me into her home and no matter what the time of day or night, would always give you something to eat.
I had visited her about a month before. I had traveled a long way that day and decided to lie down to rest for a while and had promptly fallen asleep. Ms. Lillian, the woman who came in and cleaned the house and ironed the laundry asked what was wrong with me, was I sick? No, Nannie replied, He is okay, he knows he is at home. It is my home, my home away from home.
My life had not been doing so great lately. I had recently found a job though, and was finally starting to get my life back together. Then this happened.
After my sister calls us and tells us the news, I just sit in the chair, stunned. My other sister had already left for school, my mother decides that she will wait for a while before going to tell her. I call my wife, who had just left my parents house for a 45 minute drive back to her work. I tell her to go ahead to work, I will call her later with the details.
I rush through getting ready, then throw on an old pair of jeans and shirt. My mother and I are headed to the hospital. My older sister and the rest of the family have been there the whole night.
When we arrive, my mother hugs my sister and asks her if she is okay. She has been crying, they all have. I am allowed to go in and see her. Mary Lou, her granddaughter, is there washing her face. She says it is okay for me to cry. I want to cry, but it just wont come. I wish that it would come, but it never does. I just hold Nannie's hand for a minute. Her wedding band is loose against her finger, her whole body is smaller than normal.
I head outside to the waiting room. My mother is there with my great aunt, who volunteers at the hospital. My mother asks me if I would like to go downstairs with them. They have something to do. I need to get out of here so I go.
We step off of the elevators. I spot a drink machine and I start to dig in my pocket for change. My mouth is dry and has a bad taste in it, I need something to get that taste out of my mouth.
As I step out of the elevator, a girl stops me. She is around my age. She asks me if I worked there, I say no. She asks me some more questions, following me to the drink machine. She says, I like those clothes, they must be new. I say excuse me, I have to leave. My mouth now is unbearable. I need something to drink but just now I need to be away from this crazy woman. She is trying to flirt with me and will not leave me alone. I want to scream at her but I am not a screamer. I am starting to get a headache over my right eye and my mouth has no moisture in it at all now. Finally I say to her, We have to leave, please excuse us. She looks at me like I have offended her. I don't care.
We return upstairs a moment later. The funeral home is here and the man has stepped inside the room to prepare the body for transport. He is professional and courteous, he answers all of the families' questions very efficiently. He has done this many times.
Everyone meets in the waiting room to discuss what the next few days will be like. The last business of someones life has many decisions that have to be made. The man from the funeral home indicates that he is ready. We start out into the hallway. Suddenly, a man screams. There is a crashing sound. A mentally ill patient is out on the floor, whether he was on that floor or has wandered there from some other floor I don't know. The man from the funeral home wisely closes the door to Nannie's room. I think he also locks it from the inside to make sure the patient can't get in.
We are told to stay in the waiting room. It doesn't have locks on either door that leads to it, but it is narrow and there are close to 10 people jammed in there. I don't feel any fear, just confusion. My day is less than four hours old and I feel like I have been awake forever. I hold the soda that I was finally able to get in my hand. My mouth is better but my head is now pounding hard enough to make up for the mouth no longer being dry. They finally rush the guy and get him sedated. We leave. I just want to go home and sleep for three days. This reminds me of the month earlier and the nap I took. I am sad again, but the tears still wont come.

6 comments:

Shelby said...

beautiful.

gautami tripathy said...

Whemn my dad passed awy, tears did not come for the initial few days. Now, they flow whenever I think of him.

A very beautiful post.

tumblewords said...

Touching...

Lisa Sullivan said...

Brings back memories of my both my grandmother and grandfather's deaths, respectively. I didn't want to go there with my post. Yet, it's comforting seeing someone else follow that route.

Very moving. Thank you.a

UL said...

Sorry to hear about your loss, it's so hard to let go. I am sure the memories will keep her alive in your world.

ollie1976 said...

So sorry for your loss.
-Jen