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September 20, 2012
I stand awkwardly in the hospital waiting room pacing anxiously back and forth desperate for a change of scenery. There is a TV in the corner of the room playing a news cast that no one is watching. It is just quiet enough to be impossible to understand but just loud enough to emanate a loud mumble that mixes with the hum from the vending machines to create a sound so obnoxious I want to pull my hair out. I look around taking a brief pause in my pacing. The fluorescent lights hurt my eyes but I am used to it at this point. I see my two sisters and my brother sitting on the other end of the room with my grandmother. My oldest sister Julia sits with her phone in her hands. I can see the light from the screen reflected in her glasses, her fingers glide quickly across the sleek screen. My younger brother sits next to her. He pulls the little tab on a soda can and takes a big sip, his finger rapping on the side as he holds it on his knee. Then the most eager and anxious of all of us, my little sister Lila sits in my grandmothers lap coloring pictures of puppies and flowers. We all know it’s only a matter of time before we run out of patience from her but at the time being she seems to be alright. It is only been a few minutes when she throws the coloring book down and starts to complain and gripe about everything she sees. We anticipated this. No four year old has a lot of patience. My grandmother reveals a big bag of quarters and Lila jumps up giggling and surveys the vending machine. This is how we deal with our impatience. Everyone has their own little vice. I pace, Julia texts, chase takes another sip of the soda and taps on the side, and Lila gets the quarters. For several more hours we wait, pace, text, tap, quarters.

Then I hear footsteps in the hall. I look out and my stepdad is walking towards us a spring in his step and a smile on his face. We all follow him eagerly to the room. The hallway outside the room is quiet and dim. There are only the sound of nails on keyboards and phones ringing. The smell is unpleasant. A mix of heavily scented cleaners and stale hospital food mix together and drift through the halls. I go into the room and see my mother sitting up in the hospital bed her face red and her body covered in heavy blankets. Then I see her and I cannot seem to notice anything else in the room. She is small, and bundled up in big brown and pink blankets my grandmother made not two weeks before. I scoop her up and take a good look at her. She is warm and her little cheeks are bright red. Her skin feels paper thin and frail to my rough fingers. Her eyes are squeezed shut and she occasionally opens her little mouth in an adorable little yawn. I have held plenty of babies in my life but somehow holding a brand new little sister seems so different. I don’t know how it can seem so new, I have held two of my siblings before but it always seems so different in the moment. I will always love the butterflies you get when you hold a new baby, but I will love watching her grow up even more.

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