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Waiting

Every day I wake up with a song in my head.  Sometimes they’re so obscure I have no idea how they got there.  Other times it’s very clear what teeters on the very thin line between my subconscious and consciousness.

Today I woke up with Tom Petty singing in my head.

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part

I’ve been waiting on two things lately, one good and one not so comfortable.

Retirement.  I’ve been waiting on this one for years.  Now that I can almost touch it the waiting is even harder.  It’s like waiting for a big party someone’s been planning for me ~ I know it will be a great time, but I don’t know what’s really in store for me at the party.  What kind of games will we play?  What kind of food will be served?  Who will be in attendance?  Being retired will be great, but the details of how my life will actually be are still a mystery to me.  Waiting to find out.

My dad’s recovery.  This is the not-so-comfortable kind of waiting I’ve been doing.  It’s the kind of waiting all people have to do at one time or another, or lots and lots of times.  And when I have no control over how the story progresses, waiting for the outcome is nerve wracking.  I’ve been waiting for information from doctors, waiting for phone calls, waiting for signals for help, waiting, waiting, waiting.  It all kind of makes me want to sit in a corner and suck my thumb because I feel so helpless.

The thing about waiting is it never goes away.  We’re always waiting for something.  Once we’re done waiting for this we’ll start waiting for something else.  They say we should live in the present, but the hard facts are that there’s something beyond this moment in time, and waiting to find out what that is can be really, really hard.  In fact, it’s “the hardest part.”

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Imagine your work day.  It’s demanding, it’s busy and it’s exhausting.  Now imagine being scheduled to perform five hip replacement surgeries…in one day.

My dad was number three in the lineup of five his surgeon had on the docket.  I can’t fathom the pressure performing surgery would produce.  I can’t conceptualize an ordinary day consisting of performing not one but five major surgeries.  Surgeons rock, especially the one who has taken care of my dad’s hip, his knee seven months ago, and my mom’s knee a year and a half ago.  It’s what he does and thinks nothing of it because that’s his job.

I know a bunch of people who regard this particular surgeon as a healer extraordinaire.  My whole family, and many other families I’m sure, is grateful for what one man can do to improve the quality of life in so many people.  Coincidentally a coworker of mine is seeing this very same surgeon for a consultation on her knee tomorrow.  The guy’s got a reputation for being good.  Damn good.

My dad came out of surgery well.  All that’s left is a lot of healing and hard work on his part.  A great team of physical therapists will work with him to get him back on his feet as soon as possible, and the wonder-surgeon will meet with him again to make sure everything is fine.

Replacing a major joint in the human body.  Amazing.  Medical science is awesome.

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