Tick Tock. Tick Tock. Tick Tock.
Why do they insist on having these infernal loud clocks in here as if the waiting wasn’t unnerving enough. You have to sit here and hear tick tock, tick tock, tick tock. I wish the doctor would hurry and come out and tell me how he’s doing.
Maybe, I should get up and find out what’s going on. Yeah that’s what I’ll do. I get up and head for the door, then I thought maybe I should just wait here like they said. I go back to sit down, then turn around and walk back to the door, then go back to sit down. I don’t know how many times I did this, but at some point I peaked outside in the hallway to see if the doctor was coming. I must have finally decided on staying put because Dr. Mintz and a nurse came into the waiting area.
“Mr. Taylor, everything went well,” Dr. Mintz said.
“Oh good! Thank God!” I sighed in relief.
“You should be able to see Randy shortly. He’s being moved to recovery. We were able to stop the bleeding on his brain.”
“We won’t know for sure if there is any damage or to what extent until we are able to asses his cognitive and reasoning skills.”
“Okay. But he’ll be fine.”
Dr. Mintz gives me a reassuring smile and says, “Yes, he’s going to be okay and be around a long time.”
The nurse puts her hand on my arm and says, “I’ll be back in a few minutes to take you back to see Randy. I just want to make sure he’s all settled.”
“Okay.” I take a seat and start thinking. It’s amazing how your life can be turned upside down in a matter of minutes or hours.
Randy is a healthy 16-year-old, who willingly helps out around the house. He plays varsity football and basketball, he mentors at risk boys and still manages to have a 3.6 GPA.
This morning was no different from any other morning. Randy stormed down stairs, and as usual I said “If you get up earlier, you won’t have to rush.”
“I know dad,” he says as he’s running out of the house with a bacon and egg sandwich and his back pack in tow. “Don’t forget, I have football practice.”
“I haven’t forgotten, but remember you promised Father Mark, you would help him clean the church gym after practice for the dance tomorrow.”
“I didn’t forget,” he yells as he’s getting in his car.
“Okay. I’ll see you tonight,” He yells as he backs out of the driveway.
“Don’t speed,” I yell as he drives off. Speeding of course. It’s the same routine every morning.
I go back inside and begin to clean up and as I pass by the refrigerator I see a picture of Marissa, my wife, “Marissa, I wish you were here,” I say. “You’d be so proud of Randy. I love and miss you.”
The phone rings and it’s my mother-in-law. It’s been 10 years since Marissa passed away. 10 years today, and Caroline always calls me. She claims that it’s to check up on me and Randy and make sure we don’t need anything, but I think it’s more to make sure we’re still here. Marissa’s death came as a complete shock to us.
She was an extremely active woman. Marissa and I had gone bike riding that day. She fell off her bike trying to avoid this guy opening his car door, and broke her leg in two places. Needless to say she wasn’t happy, but I tell you I’ve never heard her use such profanity. She had to have surgery to place a medal rod and pins in her leg. They said she would up in no time and she looked good, but she never made it home. She died from complications of the surgery two days later.
I’m really not a religious man, but I cannot begin to tell you how many times I prayed today that the Lord would spare my son’s life. I even went down to the hospital chapel and lit a candle and prayed some more.
“Mr. Taylor,” the nurse calls out to me.
“You can come back with me now.”
We walk down the hallway and it seems never-ending. She takes me through some automatic doors, you know the ones; where you have to swipe a badge, give your finger prints, do a retina scan, promise to give your first-born child (at least that’s what it seems like to me). We get to Randy, and he looks as though he’s been in a fight, but I guess that’s how one would look after brain surgery.
“Hi buddy,” I say.
“You look like crap.”
“Don’t make me laugh dad.”
I took his hand in mine.
We sit there in silence for a few minutes and Randy turns and looks at me and says, “Dad, I saw mom today.”