Happy New Year! Wow! It’s 2013.
So, yesterday turned into an interesting day. Debbie and I ended up spending four hours in the emergency room. It wasn’t life-threatening. Urgent care was closed and the ER was our only option.
“What happened?” you ask. Deb and Chris were out walking our puppies around the block. Deb was walking fast and her foot caught a raised part of the sidewalk. She partially slowed her fall with her knee and wrist, but her chin and mouth hit the sidewalk. The impact tore two deep gashes in her bottom lip and chipped one of her front teeth.
Four hours in ER and she left with two stitches on her lip. She vows she will be hiring a stunt double for the remainder of her stunts.
But here’s the reason for this post’s title. While in ER experiencing a lot of pain herself, Deb saw an older lady who was sitting alone and obviously struggling with intense pain. So with a cold and bloody compress applied to her gashed lip, Deb limped over to the lady, put her arm around her and engaged her in conversation to comfort her.
And that, my friends, is why I love this woman who has chosen to share her life with me. I get to see and experience this unique woman everyday. And 23 years of marriage have only deepened my love and respect for her.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think about the emergency room unless I have to go to one. Through most of my life, I forget they even exist. By their very nature, they are places of pain, misery, and fear. Yesterday reminded me that on holidays, when most people are with family and friends, emergency rooms are filled with people who are afraid, sometimes alone, and in agony.
During our four hours, I heard an infant screaming in pain for our entire visit. As we were preparing to leave, I watched his young parents hovering over him with worry as he was hooked up to tubes and wires and wheeled away on a gurney to another location in the hospital. I watched an older man who had fallen and was writhing in pain from something broken inside his body. And there were dozens more who were sick and suffering.
And all of us can be mere moments from being in the same place. Our day was spent fulfilling our busy plans. Walking the puppies is a normal activity we do a couple times a day. It was a simple way to spend five minutes before we moved onto our next activity. But a misplaced step on a crack less than an inch high suddenly causes life to spiral in a completely different direction.
Yet despite our day’s new trajectory and through her own pain, Deb showed compassion to a lonely and suffering lady, connecting a bit of heaven to a broken earth in the ER. And that’s why I love her.