The Hospital

February 11, 2010
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My dad went to talk to the receptionist while I stayed behind reading the floor tiles. Some just said the names of people who donated money to the hospital, while others had “love notes” from the family and friends of patients. Some said “In memory of…” and then the name of person who had died. If I died I don’t think I would really care if my name was on the floor of a hospital or not.

“He’s in room 438,” my dad said. We were there visiting my grandfather who had bone cancer. We walked to the elevators and pressed number four. When the doors opened we came out into a narrow hallway painted a dull yellow. We went to the end of the hallway and turned left going by doctors and nurses who barely seemed to notice us.

In one room I saw a small group of people standing around crying. One woman was holding a small, fluffy, white dog. I didn’t know dogs were allowed in hospitals.

When we got to my grandfathers room we went in and he told us to have a seat. He looked smaller than I had remembered him. I wasn’t sure if it was because of all the weight he had lost, or because of how everything else in the room was so big. He looked so different I barely recognized him and I didn’t know what to say.

He didn’t seem like the same grandpa I remembered, the one who I knew. He looked just like any other older man I had seen, but not my grandpa. I wouldn’t have even believed it was him until he spoke.

“You’re my first visitors,” he said using a tone of voice that seemed to imply we had won some kind of prize. He said it as if it were a contest that would prove who loved him the most. Then I knew it was him.

“How are you doing?” my dad asked.

“I’m fine. Everything is good except that they forgot to feed me breakfast. And I have a lovely view.” I looked out the window and all I saw was the road and the building next door.
I didn’t really speak the whole time. Normally I would, but I couldn’t really think of anything to say.
“Amanda, can you move that cup a little to the left?” He always cared about small things like that. Even if a box or something was in the exact place that he wanted it to be in he would “adjust” it. I moved it. “Thanks,” he said.
Nurses came in and out of the room checking his pulse, his blood pressure, and just to make sure he was doing ok. He told us that everyone in the hospital was so nice and how the food was good, but not as good as my grandmothers.

Another person walked and brought him his dinner. He said it looked good. I guess it looked ok except for the salad which looked like plastic, but he never eats salad anyways. He always says after every meal, “That was the best meal I ever had,” and this time was no exception. Then we said goodbye and left.

He was the same as always. He said the same things, acted the same way, only now he had nurses and doctors all around him. He even cared than the cup was an inch too far to the right. He was exactly the same.

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