After being prepped for minor foot surgery, I laid back and waited. The medical staff that roamed up and down the hallway amused me. Laughter. Chatter. Mumbles. Beeps. Clangs. That first hour passed quickly.
Then came hours two and three. I made a game of waddling without incident to the bathroom while wheeling my IV contraption. On the seventh trip to pee, I accidentally yanked the red emergency cord when I flushed. So embarrassing! Back in bed, I pushed the array of buttons: up, down, forward, backward. I tallied holes in the ceiling tiles. I made puppets out of hospital socks. I looked in the hallway without getting caught. But my escapades lost their appeal. My stomach growled, and my mouth tasted like toxic waste.
During hours four and five, I starred in my own daydream. Taken hostage, I was imprisoned in solitary confinement at a hidden military base. Observed by unseen eyes, I had to stay strong. Interrogators blinded me with bright, white overhead lights. But I wouldn’t give away my secrets. When my imagination turned stale, I began to rethink my surgery. I sat up, looked for my clothes’ sack, and got ready to leave. Then a nurse came by and said, “We’re about ready.”
The sixth hour was brutal. Everyone had left. No footsteps. No laughter. No chatter. No noise. Nothing. Just me…waiting…waiting…waiting. Did they forget me? Was everyone on dinner break? Even God felt far away. I argued with myself to stay put.
No one came to claim me. My body refused to heat under the blankets. My eyes hurt from the lights and loneliness. I saw my physical body magnified. Was I lying on a cold, solid slab? My thin skin turned luminous. Exaggerated wrinkles lined my fingers, hands, and arms. Blood pumped and pulsed. Veins bulged. Spots darkened. I was skin, bones, muscles, organs,…. What had become of my soul?
A knock jolted me. Another nurse had come to claim me! Off to surgery…
Sometimes we live in a morguish life. We struggle to think. We struggle to feel. We barely move through the fog. We’re unsure of who we are, where we are, and what we’re doing. We’re waiting to be claimed or identified, accepted or forgiven, believed or loved. Our souls are numb. Lost. Bruised.
What remakes our humanity? I believe it’s through connecting. In connecting to others, we begin to crack the walls of fear and indifference. We learn to look beyond ourselves. In connecting to nature, we learn how fragile it is. We learn to conserve and protect. In connecting to God, we realize our purpose: to serve and love and forgive all people, especially ourselves.
Connecting isn’t popular. It’s not a meme. It’s not easy at all. Yet, by connecting, we begin to counteract the greed incubated in today’s toxic words and acts, polarizing beliefs, love of money and power, and apathy. In connecting, we’re cognizant of our souls once again.
Next month, I have foot surgery again ….