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As I sit in the dim lit hospital waiting room, for the second day, I tell myself that today will be better. I will be better, and they will be better. It’s not easy to think positively when two of the most important people in your life are in the hospital. The same gloomy hospital, the same time, just rooms apart.
I began the day like any other. It was a Saturday afternoon at our local hockey arena. I was there for yet another one of my brother’s hockey tournaments. This was typical for my weekends.
My step dad, Jason came into the hockey arena concession area, where my mom was making popcorn. I could smell it burning. I saw from a distance that he was talking to her. My mom came over and told me that Jason told her we had to leave immediately. This was because my father and grandmother were being rushed to the hospital in Fargo at that very moment, but I was yet to know. We were both confused. Jason told us he would stay at the hockey arena for my brother. We packed up our things and went to the car. I learned that my confusion, and my mom’s were not the same: I was confused on why we were leaving because they had not told me the situation. She was confused over the situation- how could they both be in the hospital? Once we were in the car, safe from others’ view of us, I was told the news.
“Your grandma and dad are both being rushed to the Fargo hospital. I don’t know anything else, but we will get there as soon as we can,” she told me.
I replied, “Oh my God! No, you can’t be serious!”
Right as I heard this I felt an overwhelming wave come over me. I felt so much emotion all at once, sadness, confusion, rage, love, and fear. I broke down into tears, which was the only way to express my feelings. Still to this day, I’ve never felt that overwhelmed.
Fifteen minutes into our hour and a half drive I fell asleep from exhaustion. I left my mom to make the cold drive alone.
We arrived at the big hospital. My mom and I came up to the large sliding glass doors. I could see clearly through the doors, yet I had no idea what was going on with two of the closest people in my life.
As we walked through the doors I was instantly reminded of the smell of the hospital and it wasn’t something I enjoyed. As this thought ran across my mind we wandered around trying to find my grandfather. Once we found him, I watched as my mom and he talked. I could hear them from a distance, but couldn’t make out the words. I sat on a red and green chair in the waiting room, ignorant of the situation. Being only thirteen at the time, I felt as though they thought I was too young to know this information. I sat twiddling my thumbs and playing with my hair to pass the time. I looked out of the window behind me to see cars passing by. I wondered what was happening in their lives. It seemed like I waited a decade to find out the news, but it was only five minutes.
My grandmother had had a major heart attack and was going into open heart surgery. On the other hand, my father was in a coma. He had gotten into a snowmobile accident the night before. While my grandmother traveled to the hospital she had to stop at the Detroit Lakes hospital due to fog. At the stop my grandmother began to have heart problems. My grandfather, who was with, insisted on her getting checked out immediately. Sure enough, she was having a heart attack. If it wasn’t for my dad being in the hospital, she wouldn’t have had the immediate medical assistance that saved her life.
The more information I got, the more questions I had. I wanted all the answers at once-- an unrealistic demand for a very out of the ordinary situation. This was the most intense situation I’ve been in. So many thoughts ran into my head. My brain felt like it was a bubble, getting bigger and bigger until it would explode. I could only handle so much information at once, but I wanted more questions answered.
Through the tan barren halls my aunt walked us to my grandmother's room. She was weak and frail from her heart attack. She was lying in bed watching an informational video on open heart surgery.
“Hi darling,” she exclaimed.
“Hi Grammy,” I replied hesitantly. I felt that if I talked too loudly I would hurt her. I knew that that wouldn’t actually happen. I wished her luck on her surgery with a heavy heart. My heart, like a brick in my chest, weighing down on me, accompanied all of my sadness. I thought only happy thoughts, even though fear crept in occasionally.
Next, I was to see my father. As I walked over to his room I walked with fear. I saw that he had woken up. The nurse wearing light blue scrubs to my right turned to me.
“He hit his head hard, luckily he was only in a temporary coma. He will be all right,” she said.
I was relieved. A small weight was lifted from my shoulders. The bubble in my head shrank. I hesitantly gave him a hug as he laid in the messy hospital bed. That was how my life felt, a mess.
This mess of a life is truly not that messy. Yes, my Dad and Grandma were in terrible conditions, but there was a positive of this. They both made it through and are still with us today and my family members were all in one place. Both of my Aunts, Uncle, Grandpa, and Mom were all with me in the same waiting room feeling the same ways I felt. It was very comforting to have them all with me. We told each other that everything would be okay. They all were there to do everything they could to help my Grandma and Father. Through all of the emotions I was dealing with, my family was together.
Highland Park, IL