“What now?” Playing cards littered the carpet of the NICU hallway. I considered our options as a nurse pushing a cart passed us with a smile. We’d played every game we knew, twice, and the girls were tired of cards. We could walk down to the coffee shop; we’d be back before anyone noticed we were missing. “Coffee?” My sisters’ heads shook an earnest “no.” I glanced at the closed hospital door. It had been two hours since the cardiologist arrived and to my thinking the longer he was in there, the worse things were for my baby sister. It seemed that behind that door lay either the hope for Hannah’s future or the certainty of her death and my parents’ reassurance in either case. Janna cleared her throat. “Well…” I began. Then turned to Melissa with a smile. “We wait.” “We wait?” “Yeah, Liss, we just wait.”
It seems that everyone I know is waiting on something. A paycheck, a phone call, just waiting for something. And then there are those who are caught up in an extended season of waiting. They’re trapped by circumstances or distress or confusion. Unable to release what’s behind or embrace what’s ahead and unable to envision much more than tomorrow. They’re stuck staring at the closed hospital door, so to speak. I’m not there today but I’ve been there before and likely will be again. But I learned something about waiting from those days in the hospital with Hannah: there’s an end. Maybe it’s not the end that you’d hoped for but it’s an end. Sometimes, there’s not much to do but wait for it.