Yesterday, after it had stopped snowing and we were shoveled out, I took my oldest son to the local hospital to visit his girlfriend. She may have to have surgery for a cyst. I was not thrilled at having to go to the hospital. It was 5:30 p.m., cold and dark. I also am not a fond visitor of hospitals in general, having been there so much during my husband's illness. After my husband died, there were many more hospital visits when my youngest was diagnosed with a heart condition and then both of my parents became very ill. Over the past 7 years various hospitals in the area have almost become second homes. Anyway, as we entered this hospital my son asked if Dad had ever been there and I said he had been (although his main hospital for treatment was in Chicago). I was struck by the knowledge that some details have faded from my son's memory - he was just 7 when his dad became ill and only 10 when he died. Over the years life has blown by with amazing speed and certain aspects of my husband's illness and death have retreated to the background.
Despite the effort, I was very happy to have taken my son when all was said and done. I sat in a lobby area and read and crocheted for about 2 hours. A steady stream of teenagers paraded in and out of this lovely girl's room and my son was disappointed he did not have more alone time with her (young love!). When we first arrived, she sat in bed clutching a teddy bear and it was so sad and sweet.
Actually, visiting hospitals today is somewhat different from years back. There are lobby areas with indoor fireplaces and waterfalls. The furniture is comfortable and attractive, as is the artwork and flooring. But the main thing about last night was that we did a good thing visiting a teen who has the misfortune of being hospitalized. And I am truly grateful that I have a son who wanted to be there for her. I think he and his brother share a very different outlook on life than other teens their age - and I know that their compassion and understanding of the world is more mature because of their life experience (not entirely a bad thing). I was proud of my son who also admitted how much he dislikes visiting hospitals. But he also commented that the hospital was pretty cool since they've updated it (even with the dark and snow the rock garden visible from the lobby was very pretty).
Today I am thankful:
1. That the cliche of every cloud having a silver lining can be true (although sometimes it takes years to realize the good that can come out of the bad).
2. That the snow stopped and we survived another snowstorm.
3. That spring is the next season!