Sunday, November 20, 2005

Reason Enough

This morning I put "Love, Actually" in the ol' DVD player and watched it over breakfast. I love that the beginning describes love at an airport. Because I always thought that about airports. Airports are the hub of life itself. Arrivals...hugs and relief and love and excitement. Departures...sadness and uncertainty and desperation and aloneness. The art of travel itself, movement and motion and action and faith. Expensive alcohol at a second rate bar and luggage that takes forever to get - but is a pain in the ass to carry around with you the rest of your way. Simple as it may be, the movie made me happy and reminded me that "Love, actually is all around". Later, I remembered sage advice - my Grandmother's motto: "Don't think about it. Just do it." It took a while for me to not immediately think of Nike shoes whenever she said that. I'd forgotten it was her advice. So I got in my car without thinking and went to get some homework done and I didn't contemplate my life. I just went on with it. Late afternoon, I got a call that Kim & Mike had taken Madison to the Emergency Room in the middle of the night - and I headed for the hospital. What I hate about hospitals is that they are a maze of hallways and corridors that all look exactly alike and I think it's a conspiracy. Only the doctors and nurses and orderlies know the ins and outs of hospitals. If it takes people longer to get around that's simply more billable hours...or those minutes needed to crack open another band-aid which costs at least $125 ea. When Stacy said "hospital", I was concerned. When she mentioned the words "Pediatrics Intensive Care Unit" I felt thrown into some sort of television drama. "She's not that bad," Kim would explain later. "The nurse said the PICU is just helping out." Little Madison was fighting a fever and had been given a spinal tap and an ultrasound and she was poked and prodded and she looked pale and her little hand was wrapped up and held a mini-iv. When I got there, though, she was sleeping soundly and when she woke up her eyes wandered and she moved freely and she made us all smile. Her fever had gone down. I wondered what it would be like to take your 24 day old baby to the hospital. I realized my friend of 10 years, standing over the crib and smiling at her baby girl had become an immeasurably strong, capable woman. The med student attending to Madison and answering Kim's questions, was kind and as she told stories about other mini-patients and I realized my great respect for doctors and nurses. I'd always had it but respect, among other things, is something easily forgotten about. Outside, the evening light grew a bit darker. Inside the Cornelius family began to succumb to heavy eyes and needed sleep. With that, I left them alone. And as I drove home, I thought about what can happen in a day. Attitudes can change, people can get sick and get better and what gets lost, can be found again. No matter goes on. And if we go on with it - we've succeeded in the day. Watching "Grey's Anatomy" I started thinking about...all the things I think about. That clutter the mind and beat it down. Then I thought, "Don't think about it. Just do it." So I didn't think about my life. I let myself feel good about it. I let myself feel good for love, for the love I have reserved for friends and family - and more importantly - what they reserve for me. For faith, because as little as I have had lately, I've still had enough. For the things I have wanted all my life - that I still want - a good man, New York City, the Grand voice. Because wanting them means I'll never give up. And for Madison because she reminded me about the fragility of life and what really matters. Because when I was in that room - what was happening outside of it - didn't concern me a bit. And for the courage we all have to overcome our fears. Because, as Meredith Grey said at the end of the show - "At the end of the day, having the courage to remain standing is reason enough to celebrate." *And just for the record - yes - I allow fictional characters to influence my life - thankyouverymuch.