Sharing with you things that are on my mind...Maybe yours too. Come back to Wrights Lane for a visit anytime!

18 August, 2012


A boy, hospital waiting room and a coffee
I was sitting in the ambulatory care department of the Owen Sound Hospital along with at least 30 other people earlier this week.  We were all in various stages of recovery from fractures and knee and hip replacement surgeries and there for follow up consultation appointments with our doctor.

Seating was at a premium because typically everyone (except me) brought along a husband, wife, friend or various other companions.  Typically too, the clinic was running an hour behind and it was only 8:45 a.m.  I took one of the few vacant seats next to a young woman with three boys between the ages of six and 11.  I would later find out that the eight-year-old had a broken arm, the result of a fall off his bicycle.

Understandably, the boys were quickly becoming bored and had adolescent ants in their pants.  At one point they left the waiting area to go exploring up the hallway and when they came back their seats were naturally taken.  "I told you," said their mom.  "This is a busy place and you can't leave and expect your seat to be there when you come back." 

One young lad sat on the floor and another found a spot on a magazine table.  I squeezed over on my two-seater and invited the older boy to sit beside me.  Without hesitation, he took me up on the offer with a satisfied sigh of relief.

"Thanks," he said.  "What's wrong with you?"

Not quite believing what he had just asked me, I repeated his question:  "What's wrong with me?"

"Ya," he replied.

"Well I have a problem with my hip," I explained, choosing to spare him the details; but that wasn't good enough for him. "Oh, are you here to have it xrayed or something?"

"No, I've already had that done and I had surgery a couple of months ago.  I'm here today just to have the doctor take a look at my hip and to hopefully say that I'm good to go."

"That's good," he answered.  "My brother is getting his cast off today and I hope he is good to go too."

I put aside the Sports Illustrated magazine that I had been reading, knowing that this was no ordinary crew-cut 11-year-old.  I sensed that I was in for a good old fashioned chat.

I asked him what he was doing for excitement this summer and he quickly replied that he spent a lot of time racing his dirt bike.  "It's a 300cc, two-stroke engine BMX and it really goes," he enthused, sounding very much like an expert on the subject.

That prompted me to ask what he planned to do when he grew up and he said that he was not really sure.  Putting the ball quickly back in my court, he caught me off guard once again with a question out of left field : "What do you want to do?"

Pressed for an answer, I jokingly said that I always wanted to be a fireman because it looked like a fun job to me.

"What do you do?" he responded, not letting me off the hook that easily.  I explained that I became a newspaper writer instead, but that I am now retired.  "That's interesting," he said.  I could almost hear the wheels spinning in his head.

Since we had long passed the one hour mark in the waiting room, I asked him if he had breakfast before coming to the hospital and he said "no, we were in too much of a hurry to get here, but we're going to McDonald's after."  I suggested that since we still had a long wait ahead of us, maybe he could go down to the cafeteria and get something to tide he and his family over until lunch time -- maybe a cookie or a muffin.

"That's a good idea," his mother chimed in as she dug into her wallet for some money.  "Why don't you do exactly that?  Get us each a muffin."

He and his brothers were no sooner gone on their muffin mission when the mother lamented the fact that she did not ask for a coffee too.  I thought the same thing myself as I was also breakfastless on this particular morning and for the same reason.

In no time at all the energetic trio was  back and digging into their bag of muffins.  The older boy carried a tray with two coffees on it.  "Here," he said to this mother, "I got this for you too," prompting an "O, you are so awesome," hug from her.

"I got one for you too, sir," he added in re-claiming his seat next to me.  Totally shocked (what 11-year-old is that considerate?) I thanked him profusely and offered to pay him but he said "That's okay, it was my mom's money."  Everyone within hearing distance laughed at that one and his mother winked and silently mouthed the words "don't worry about it" in my direction.

The coffee never tasted so good, even though I do not take sugar in it.

Eventually the attendant nurse announced "Jeffrey Hunter" and my not-so-little-anymore buddy jumped to his feet exclaiming "that's us!" as he led the charge up the hallway to the examination rooms.  The next 15 minutes were suddenly very quiet and I returned to my Sports Illustrated.

When the family finally emerged, one member minus a cast on his arm, I commented "free at last" and the mother nodded in agreement.  "Good talking to you," said my new young friend, pausing for a moment before asking: "Are you finished reading your sports magazine...Can I have it?"

"You sure can, young man...You sure can.  It was nice talking to you too!"

1 comment:

Martin,UK said...

Nice story.