Sitting in the waiting room of that foreign but familiar place; I wondered what would happen next. I was anxious and nervous; and if they would just hurry up and call my name, I could hear what they had to say and go home. The door that had already swung open three times before, did so once again; this time I was the recipient of the name caller. I stood up the best I could, and put one foot in front of the other; which was much more difficult than I ever remembered it being.
I followed the young man wearing loose, linen clothing and tennis shoes through the open door; passing many people along the way in varied states of discomfort and struggle. Finally, he came to a stop, turned and led me into a huge open room lined with ten beds covered in paper, plastic-lined pillows, and a huge wide screen television on one wall; I’m supposing for our comfort and viewing, and a visitor’s stool sitting next to each bed.
Only one bed was occupied when I went in, by a young boy and what appeared to be his father. I was told to sit on the bed next to him and wait; someone would be with me in a few minutes. The young man as it turned out was being released. He was an 8th grade football player who had hurt his arm. He would have 4 more weeks of no contact sports; then he was clear to go.
Within ten minutes, the beds on either side of me were filled. One with a grown man whose cast would be coming off. He wasn't talking, but his companion sure was; as she lectured on the perils of drinking, the choices we make and where those choices lead us. I could only surmise that maybe his accident had been alcohol related and this was probably just one of many discussions he would endure.
But on the other side of me, be-bopping around without a care in the world, was a little girl with strawberry-blonde hair, a face full of freckles, and probably about 8 years old; who was on her 3rd ankle boot, and had broken each of her arms once each. She was a live-wire, as her mother spoke about how that boot had not slowed her down one bit, she could still climb trees, ride her scooter, and anything else she wanted to do!
I mis-stepped off of my front porch and sprained both of my ankles the Friday before Mother’s Day; I too, am now wearing a boot on one foot while the other is wrapped. And I can guarantee you one thing; I won’t be telling any tales about climbing trees when this is all over. But the memory of that little girl and her extra sparkle has made me smile several more times since my accident; so I’m pretty much figuring, that’s how she came to have the bed next to me in the first place.