Despite soft carpet, floor to ceiling plate glass views of sky and woodland, and trendy color schemes, sitting in an oncology waiting room is neither physically relaxing nor mentally pleasant. It is ready evidence of varying realities. Very few of the waiting room occupants are smiling, Some, but not all, of the staff behind counters and desks look happy.
Illness, in this case cancer, in all its forms is ugly. It is mean. It is dehumanizing. It shows its total non-discrimination through patients ambulatory or not, of all ages sexes and races, but all with one obvious similarity: no one smiles, not the ill one, not the caregiver, not the employee handing out small purple tags with a number.
Even the magazines are torn or dogeared or missing a cover. They are incomplete. What has so obscenely defaced the cover or rolled pages in such a way that they can never be whole again? And why?
Outside the windows on the carefully and expensively manicured hills with their just-budding dogwoods and oaks, the scene is not one bit realistic, for the grass is evenly cut, the seasonal flowers blooming, the clouds fluffy and full, the cars parked perfectly within the lines.
Lesson for Tuesday: Blessings on the brave. Blessings on the frightened. Blessings on their families. Blessing on their hope.