Monday, March 26, 2012

Last Tuesday I wrote about sunrises and sunsets. Accepting the sunset as it falls. 

I did not see the sunset that day. An afternoon trip to the Emergency Room with our son, a rapid decline in his condition, a need for specialist evaluation. By the time he was stabilized enough for transport, it was two o’clock in the morning. Dark, the sunset long past.

Sunrise came through the hospital window, muted by the shade, but enough to cast shadows of the tree leaves outside in the courtyard. A huge hospital, downtown Los Angeles, with a morning parade of specialists. Evaluate. Consult. Watch. Ask questions. Probe. Test. Puzzle. Analyze.

One more sunset, one more sunrise watched through that screened window. The tree branches blew in the breeze, tapping, fluttering. The sun moved across the courtyard, illuminating the windows on the other side. We waited, watched. Hospital time. It moves slowly.

A hospital. A place where everyone has a story. You hear them in the elevator, in the halls, in the cafeteria. I don’t think about it in the grocery store, though of course it is true there, too. Everyone has a story. But hospital stories tend to the dramatic. Life changing. Affecting families and friends. Like day and night. One day, then a different day. Everything different, just like that.

My story, from this hospital stay, has changed, too. Focused. Clarified. Prioritized. On Tuesday’s post, I used the word, “tethered.” But it’s not like that, really. It is a choice, a choice I gladly make. Freely make. A choice to live for these people, this family I have, here and now. To appreciate all that fills our home, now, today and tomorrow and the coming days. A calendar of hope. To be grateful, awake, alive, now.

Today.  To not miss today, working toward some dream of tomorrow.

I will never tire of sunrises and sunsets. The unique and the ordinary joys of today. Brilliant or subtle, light and dark, happy and sad, health and pain, strength and weakness. Cycles.
If you happen to compare this post with last Tuesday’s, there are many similarities. What I wrote then has new, deeper, fresh meaning to me. I repeat:

For now, today,
  • ·         Pay attention
  • ·         Listen
  • ·         Breathe
  • ·         Be here
  • ·         Watch the sunrise lighten the day
  • ·         Accept the darkness as it falls

Yes, our son will heal with careful care, and without surgery (yeah!). Time, patience, quiet waiting. His kitty was very glad to get him home and doesn’t mind at all that he will be spending more time on the bed next to her.

The cycle of days, the bright of each new day, the rhythm of light and dark, of life. Even when everything is not perfect or comfortable, each sunrise and  sunset comes with hope.


  1. Hoping with you, Maureen. Praying for your son...

  2. Lots of prayers for your son. Thank you for sharing this so beautifully. Your story brings encouragement and inspiration to another :)

  3. So glad to hear you son is home. May he continue to heal.
    I know how the hours move slowly in the hospital, watching and waiting - praying. It does slow us down to think about "today" and not only to turning our wheels in working towards our dreams. Thank you for the reminder.
    Karen A.