Today was a very intriguing day. I had this insane idea to go volunteer at the hospital where Shiloh was born. This was a huge step and as I thought, a rush of memories hit me like an asthma attack. I remembered the drive down the main road. It was at night when we rushed Vivian to the hospital and the drive today seemed to tread as slowly as the one back in 2006. Shiloh was born January 2007, but we were admitted into the hospital December 28, 2006. Nonetheless, I’ll never forget the Beckley & Colorado intersection. That night, as I approached the intersection, the light turned yellow…I could have entered on yellow, but I stopped. 2 minutes almost passed before the light turned green again. At the time, I didn’t think that the 2 minutes could be the difference between life or death. It was not, and I’m happy for that. But I do remember debating, running the light, or driving through the intersection on red. I chose not to, not because I’m some law-abiding citizen, but as soon as I would have gone through that light, “something” would have happened.
We turned on to Beckley and headed toward the maternity ward. For the life of me, I can’t remember if we went through emergency or general admit. What’s wild is that this hospital was the 2nd of the night. Prior to this jet setting adventure, we went to Charleston Methodist near our home. They basically told us, we needed to get to Methodist in downtown Dallas. Great, wonderful, way to go making us feel good about the situation. I believe they told us about the NICU at the hospital downtown. I was desperately trying to remember this as I drove toward the hospital today.
As I approached the parking garage today, I looked to my right down a side street and remembered how I would try to be first to park on the street because it was free. It’s interesting that if you are admitted to the hospital, at least in our case, you don’t get your parking ticket validated. There was a lot of construction going on back in 2007, and the place has expanded and the facelift looks pretty decent. It’s still a hospital, and 1 of 2 places I’d rather stay away from. Same old restaurants, the 7-Eleven still looks like it’s one day away from closing, and the lake still had a good amount of walkers.
Anyway, I went to the hospital today to attend a 3 hour volunteer orientation. Even after sitting through it, I could not explain to Vivian exactly what we were orientated on that required 3 hours. Parking was easy, walking to the elevator…easy, but when the doors opened to the first floor. I froze. Without even thinking about it, I knew the Chapel was to the right. There were many a night where Vivian would go down and read Psalms 91. The rest room was to the left and you could make a B-line to the cafeteria from there. As I walked out and toward the information desk, I wondered, why am I here, what’s the point. There were two elderly ladies at the desk, both of the phones and flipping through the surgery schedule. A third lady stood behind them and she directed me to the conference room for the orientation.
I walked through the door with waaaayyyy too much swag and I think I caught the group off guard. I’m thinking it’s 9:01 and you’ve already started okay, wow! We had to do the “who am I, and why am I here” bit. It was harmless, but the guy next to me, kind of described himself as some type of baby whisperer, but hey, it kept the morning light. The memories continued to flow and even during the break I tried to put the madness of 5 years ago into some kind of perspective. After going through the do’s & dont’s, expectations, and benefits I have to admit, I was ready to go. But I do understand form and the importance of insulating yourself against liability, but next time could we please leave the DVD’s in the storage room.
It was a nice day with a nice group and although difficult, it was rewarding. Afterward I spoke to the volunteer coordinator who asked why I wanted to volunteer, I won’t bore you, but you know it included Shiloh. She shared that her 5-year-old was born early and spent a couple of days in NICU, I’m not certain why, but she cut short her sentence. She did say she was sorry for my loss, which I replied he’s still with me. I recognized she was trying to figure out what direction to take the conversation, so I quickly told her…”I’m good, I have no complaints….today is a good day”. She smiled and I walked away hopping on the elevator to get the hell outta dodge! I’ll see them again on May 24th.