I got off work early and arrived around midnight. The leaden sky was pregnant with snow, the cold air stinging my lungs. Uncle John had pulled strings with the nursing staff to extend visiting hours, since Grandma had always been a night owl.  I entered through the ER and made my way through the dim hallways, glancing through open doors at the shadowed figures recumbent in hospital beds amidst the low drone of electronics, waiting. Waiting to be released, waiting for the test results, for a second opinion.

When I saw  Grandma’s face I knew what she was waiting for.


Friday Fictioneers


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  1. k rawson

    As I read this, I felt the ambiance of the hospital all around me. Then I realized I actually was at the hospital ;-)

    A whole lot of waiting goes on here, and you captured it so well.

  2. Lynn Love

    Such a fantastic description of the hospital, the patients and their waiting, waiting for whatever reason. So gla he made it to her in time. Beautifully done

    • J Hardy Carroll

      Autobiographical. My uncle the doctor was waiting in the room and talking about an aggressive course of physical therapy to get my grandmother home. When I saw the look of distress on her face I asked her flat out if she wanted to go home to die. With tears in her eyes she nodded. This was difficult for my uncle to deal with because he was a cardiac surgeon and very caught up in the idea that death was the enemy. But my grandmother was born in the same room that she slept in at home and she wanted to die there. She did, about two weeks later. My father and grandfather also died in that room.

  3. jellico84

    I see the last sentence and my mind wants to say “WHO she was looking for.” Beautiful story. And, Oh, I remember the late night visits to see Gran. I didn’t get off work until 11 pm, but then she had worked nights all her life, so it was like morning tea to her.

  4. mjlstories

    Sort of experience we all should have at some time – one day we all have to face this ourselves in one way or another. This read very true – reminded me of my Dad.

Don't just stand there.