April McGowan

Right Here Waiting

The other day I was hanging out with my husband at his workplace. I’ve done this twice this month. It’s fun—downtown Portland all bustling with people and busyness. Well, except for the reason I’m doing it: our car has been in the shop. Again.

It’s not like a ‘little’ issue either. It’s like every time we turn around some additional thing breaks. I know what you are thinking—the shop saw us coming a mile away and are taking advantage of us. But, they really aren’t. One of the issues was very hard to diagnose, and the others are due to wear and tear…it just happened all at once. All that’s left is the engine and transmission. Good thing I’m not superstitious! Knock on melamine and fiberboard cubicle walls.

I can’t help thinking that if I worked here every day, I’d be more than a bit distracted by the view. It’s very pretty. Lots of green trees, blue sky (today it IS!), little birds flitting by. And as I’m a people watcher, people on the street…er, across the way, cleaning their windows catch my eye. Right now, the gal over on the 5th floor is doing a very nice job getting rid of all those streaks. Shiny!

I don’t mean to spy, but I have the unconscious tendency to look into windows as we drive by and see families sitting down to dinner, or peek at the interior of a house and admire the decor. I’m not casing the joint, I promise! With my background in interior design, I’m always fascinated at the different uses of spaces. Then my writer mind kicks into high gear and I start to imagine the person/family that lives there:

The older woman across the way values her view. She spends precious hours of her one day off a week to clean the windows and enjoy the last few days of nice Pacific Northwest weather before the rains come. Her favorite thing to do it sit in her deck chair and enjoy a cup of tea and a scone before she dashes off to work cleaning rooms at a nearby hotel. She can’t really afford the satellite dish she’s got hanging off the balcony. She got it for her son who comes by a couple times a month. Her friends tell her she shouldn’t waste the  pittance she’s allowed to earn after retirement—but she wants him to know she loves him. One day he’ll come over and not turn on the TV at all, and they’ll talk for hours. Maybe she’ll even buy a second deck chair.

How do you pass the time when you are waiting?

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What a Fool Believes

Have you ever noticed how much people like to give advice? The other day my son had the hiccups—all day. We had tons of errands, and every time someone heard him hiccup, they’d offer him a sure-fire way to get rid of them. Wouldn’t you know it, every bit of advice was different from the next. These sage words came from a receptionist, a nurse, a doctor, the grocery store clerk, his sister and myself.

Hold your breath. Stand on your head. Drink a glass of water from the other side (okay…what? All that gets you is a wet front!). Hold your nose. Rub your tummy. Take long, controlled, deep breaths. Oh, this one is from my sister and passed on by me—eat a spoonful of sugar (he chose not to, sorry Chelli). He was assured each of these was a proven cure.

Guess what? I know. Yours works and I should have called you first. Sorry. Anyway, none of these worked! They naturally went away some time in the night, and he awoke to a hiccup free day.

Have you ever been given erroneous advice? When I was first so ill, I was given a truckload of advice by the well-meaning and by the meddling (don’t worry, you weren’t the meddling type, I don’t even see them anymore). Most people want to help. And most people have things that really have helped them, and they’re sure it’s going to help you, too. I get that. I’m a researcher, I tried everything I could think of on my own, and a bunch of other stuff that didn’t help a bit. But sometimes…you have to wait.

I waited a long time for the right treatment to come along and make me feel better (42 years). It wasn’t a quick fix, and it’s not sure-fire, but it’s working for me. It’s not a fun thing to infuse immunoglobulin subcutaneously (or for my IvIG friends, intravenously). I’m happy to say, that after 25 weeks of treatment, I’m finally starting to feel better. It’s an amazing thing, feeling good. If you already feel good, then revel in it, roll in it and keep it close. I’ve talked about my little windows of feeling better. The last week or so I’ve had several consecutive hours of feeling better. Not an entire day of it, but huge happy chunks. Enough to know I’m improving.

Waiting is hard. We’re a proactive people. We like action and immediate solutions. Easy answers are best. Patience is NOT a virtue associated with our lives. But a lot of the time, we just have to hang in there, hold on and pray. And pray some more.

Have you ever been given erroneous advice? Did you take it? What happened?

Psalm 27:14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Full text here.)

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