Bittersweet is a strange word. If you’re talking about dark chocolate, it’s a perfect word, but if you’re talking about a memory, then the word spins your head around.
Two weeks ago, my hand doctor told me he would be doing my minor thumb surgery (Trigger release) over at Mercy Southwest Hospital. I would need a car ride upon release because I would be in la-la land for a few hours. My wife accompanied me in to “admissions” area through the main doors.
We were ushered into the private cubicle of a lovely young girl with the name badge, Rachel, on her blouse. She had a familiar look but a guy (with his wife) shouldn’t spend too much time studying the face of a beautiful woman, even if there’s familiarity present. When Rachel looked at my name on the admission slip and looked at my face, then Amy’s face, then back and forth again, she suddenly became frozen and then tears flowed down her face. She came around from behind the counter and grabbed Amy and I and hugged us. Rachel said she hadn’t worked in the emergency room for years. She’s been at this desk in ‘admissions’ for seven years. But, on New Year’s Eve, four months ago, a fellow worker begged to get off for the evening and Rachel agreed to work the overnight shift. She had been there when our unbelievable episode took place.
A brief pause here: For those of you who don’t know what happened to my sweet wife a few months ago, please check out my blog here entitled, “Amy, Fellini, and Me.”
When we all stopped crying and smiling simultaneously, Rachel explained how rare it is for an emergency room staffer to see the outcome of their medical perfection. She watched as they brought my wife back to life, spent hours getting her in a precariously-stable condition, and then Rachel watched them place in her an ambulance to race her to the heart hospital. She said she that night had branded a huge impact on her mind and wondered what the outcome was with Amy and me. She explained that was the worst part of that jog; one never knows what happened to those who came for lifesaving help. When she saw our names and put the faces with the names, she was overcome with joy.
So were we. The emergency room staff at Mercy Southwest were not only competent…you kind of expect that, but they were efficient, caring and extremely loving; something I didn’t’ expect.
So a stranger that had come into our lives, helped to save my wife’s life, met us again out in the “real” world.
It was bittersweet… but more like chocolate.