The waiting room is a lonely place
where I must face
my grownup childhood fears.
Surrounded by others,
I feel alone and nervous
about what's to come.
It's a gathering place
for family and friends
where memories are shared
and regrets embraced.
It's where goodbyes are said
to someone who cannot return the farewell.
It's a sacred place
where earth and heaven meet.
As faith and hope hold hands,
mortality gives way to immortality.
It's where the mystery of eternal light
provides illumination amid the shadows
to approach God with confidence.
It's holy ground.
The waiting room provides a front row seat
as the drama of life and death
is played out on the elevated stage of a hospice bed
while a loved one takes one last curtain call.
The waiting room is a difficult place to be.
But there is no place I would rather be.
It is an awesome privilege to shepherd this one
who escorted me into this world into the next.
Lord, give me grace for the journey
and the means to cherish
each remaining moment with my mom.
*The above was written as I observed my 92 year old mother living out the final days of her life in her room in a dementia facility after suffering a major stroke and being put on hospice.