dimanche, février 25, 2007
Hours in Purgatory
I came back an hour or so ago from Philadelphia, where I presided at the blessing of a marriage. In a swanky city restaurant, hardbodies, family members and slender women in short and longer dresses sipped wine and celebrated Jami and Llloyds wedding (last week in Vegas). But as I clapped for the happy couple, my mind was many miles away-in a hospital room in Brooklyn.
While in New York yesterday visiting dad, he had a medical crisis that meant we had to summon an ambulance to his home. Most of you know that if you call 911 for somebody, the ambulance has to take them to the hospital. By the time the EMT's got to the brownstone, the crisis was over-but my father's time in purgatory had just begun.
Having spent most of my adult years in suburbia, I was not truly up to date on the realities of Brooklyn emergency room. Walking in the frigid air, welcoming its freshness against my skin, I was happy to have the opportunity to regain my composure as I trod the well remembered and yet unfamiliar streets of childhood. On my way to Methodist, where my dad had spent about a month this past fall, I prepared myself for a few hours of routine discomfort in the ER. Little did I know I was about to begin a trial that would bring me face to face with a reality from which I am usually shielded-and to which so many are routinely exposed.