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I walk into the exam room and sit in a mauve chair on the edge of the room. I text Jeremy, squinting to see the letters and hoping auto-correct will help me communicate the gist of what I mean to say: “I’m in exam room 2 now. Looks like dr will come in here. Want to come?”
“Z is continuing to throw up,” Jeremy texted.
“Oh no :(,” I texted.
I wiggled my phone into the pocket sewn into the folds of my flowered skirt – the skirt I discovered on the rack of the local Goodwill a few months ago. I smiled, remembering how I had held up the hanger to eye level to examine it, and how I had known that I would go home with it before I had even slipped it over my hips in the dressing room. It had felt like a surprise from a God who had promised in His Scriptures to clothe the fields, the birds, and also me, as if God himself had moved the woman’s heart who had been storing this skirt in her closet, amidst moth balls and blazers, to stuff it into a trash bag and drop it off the day before I arrived to pick it off the rack, grinning like a mad woman at the delightful teal, purple, and red patterns and the way it graced my knees just right. Extravagant, unnecessary grace, I thought, grateful to remember.
The door opened, and Jeremy entered, holding Zeke in his arms.
“Hi,” I said, standing to give them a hug. I squeezed Jeremy’s middle, resting my face on his unoccupied shoulder (Zeke rested his head on the other), and Jeremy and I sat in the mauve chairs.
I said, “How’s it going?"
“It’s not the best day I’ve ever had,” Jeremy said.
I nodded. “No kidding,” I said.
“I just can’t believe Zeke had to be sick today,” said Jeremy.
“I know,” I said, “It sucks.”
“I mean, seriously?” Jeremy said.
“I know,” I said, nodding.
“Just give us a break,” Jeremy said, glaring at the ceiling.
“I know exactly what you mean,” I said. “But it was just boring tests, anyway. There was hardly room for you to sit next to me in any of those rooms.”
“Still,” he said.
“And anyway, you haven’t missed anything important. And you’re here now.” I put my arm around his shoulder.
He sighed and nodded, looking grumpy. “Yeah,” he said. “I guess.” I gave him a peck on the cheek and he smiled.
“At least we get to find out what’s going on today… finally,” I said. Jeremy nodded and sighed. “Oh!” I said, and I leaned down to pull a notebook out of my backpack. “My questions,” I explained to Jeremy, flipping through the book on my lap.
Then the door opened and in strode the woman who had led me down the corridor to exam room 2 and Dr. Patron in his white jacket. His assistant sat in front of the computer and began typing.
“Hello again, Elizabeth,” Dr. Patron said as he sat on a black rolling stool.
To Be Continued…
This post is part of my “Through A Mirror Dimly” series about a recent health issue I’ve been experiencing. I started telling this true story during the season of Lent as a way to make sense of the ways that my own suffering teaches me about the suffering of Jesus Christ.
I also invite you to engage with your own suffering through this series: how does your personal pain illuminate the suffering of Jesus for you? And what can your pain teach you about the life of faith?