Wednesday was spent in the waiting room of Fairfax Hospital, under the watchful eyes of this painting. According to the inscription, it depicts a nurse who worked here from 1961-1984. I'm sure she was a lovely lady, but every time I glanced at the portrait I was reminded of Nathan Lane in The Birdcage. (anybody else?)
I was born in this hospital, and thankfully had few reasons to visit in the intervening years between then and now. Former Vice President Dick Cheney had a heart transplant here recently. My brother arrives, announces that he will be searching the place for Cheney's old heart (the perfect addition to his collection of political memorabilia). But the only searching we do is for a better cup of coffee than the nearest vending machine can dispense.
Mostly we just wait. Waiting proves rather exhausting.
Some family friends arrive, bearing chocolate chip cookies. They join us on the circle of green couches. We discuss the Fauquier County Sheriff's department, the Redskins' draft options, and Venice. (I had opinions to offer only on that last topic.) Another family friend arrives, hugs all around, pulls up a chair, helps us wait.
And of that help in the waiting? I have no words. Just beams of thanks from the bottom of my waiting-weary heart.
(Friends: if you ever need someone to come sit with you in a hospital waiting room (and of course I hope you don't), you better call me. Because I would love to do that for you. Having people sit there with us and do nothing somehow did everything. It was a beautiful thing.)
Finally, finally, 45 minutes after our wait was supposed to be over, the doctor appeared. His uniform? Blue scrubs with a tweed sports coat on top. His accent? Vaguely German. His news? Of the good variety.
Sighs of relief all around.
I could have kissed him, but he was a formal man (see: tweed sports coat) so I settled for a firm handshake and a "Thank you. Thank you."
And thank you, thank you to all those who prayed us through it.