I see the hurt in my son’s eyes and then I see him smile. And her love overshadows the pain.
I walk out of the room. It’s almost time.
And we wait.
There are others in this ‘waiting room’, one whose trembling hands are evident of her concern–her granddaughter’s waiting.
Fire alarm lights flashes from another area in the hospital. The older couple sitting near are planning their escape route if it happens again.
And I sit silent in prayer. I can feel the prayers of others. Our church. Our family. Our friends.
He walks into the waiting room his arms heavy with clothes and bags. This young man. His body slumps in the chair hard and the bags drop to his side. It’s like he is trying desperately to release the burden he carries. He walks to the bathroom and returns with tissue and his eyes wet with worry and I need the courage. The brave to go to him.
I reach for coins for a bottle of water for him and pray a simple prayer, asking God to comfort. This lady I heard her say to other family members, ‘I’m going to him.’ And she did. I watched her compassion–how she made her self lower to look in his eyes and then sit down beside him with her hand touching his shoulder. ‘Are you alright? Can I get you anything?’, she asked. And he said, ‘no, but thank you. My baby is being born and I couldn’t go in the room.’ He wiped his tears once more.
We wait together.
And then we all heard it. Everyone in the waiting room heard it. His phone was loud and we all heard it. Sounds of his baby’s first cry. Sounds of heaven. And he sobbed–my baby girl, he said. She looks just like me. He listened for a while longer, his newborn baby’s cry and then called his mama. And through more tears, he yelled, ‘She looks just like me Mama. Just like me. I can’t wait to see her Mama. I can’t wait to see her.’
And this waiting room was filled with tears of strangers, because we all too were waiting for the sounds of our babies cry.
After a short time of more waiting, the door opened and this young man’s mother-in-law walks in and they embrace as he jumps out of his chair. All burdens lifts as he runs out the door to hold close his baby girl. And his mother-in-law, she walks over to us and her countenace is of a thousand smiles. ‘I’m a grandmother. I’m too young to be a grandmother’, and she laughs. She told us of how her daughter had to have an emergency Ceasaran section and how the father of the baby couldn’t go in and she was there. ‘I taped him, you know. I used somebody else’s phone and now I have him on video crying when he saw the baby. I am going to show this video to his daughter, my granddaughter when she gets older.’
She thanked the woman for consoling him. And she said, ‘It was scary. But I knew God had us.’
The next day I saw the compassionate woman and her husband in the elevator. She beamed when she saw me. Her grand baby now has the same birthday as my grand baby boy. I will never forget her kindness.
And for those of us, together on that late night, God had us. God had us all in the quiet of the waiting.