I drive into the parking lot of my doctor’s office on Monday morning. I’m disturbed there are so many cars already here.
I thought I’d be first. Or close to it anyway.
But at 6:52 a.m., I’m already 5th in line to get bloodwork done.
I take my place in line outside the door that won’t open until 7 a.m. sharp.
Why is everyone here so old? I look at the four people in front of me. One older woman is sharply dressed with her picture-perfect wig. She chats with the other older woman about her neighborhood. The first man in line, also older, keeps checking his watch, obviously in a hurry. The second man looks more like me, dressed in sweatpants and flip flops, caring little about his morning outfit.
The nurse opens the door at 7 and we all sign in, all here for fasting bloodwork, getting it over with early so we can go home and eat breakfast by 8.
Yes, these older people had my same idea.
As we wait our turn in the waiting room, more older people file in. The extras have to sit in the overflow pediatric waiting room. I smile as they sit around the toys, noticing the juxtaposition of their age with their surroundings.
I remember back to when I was much younger. As the third of four children, I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t always surrounded by other people, waiting my turn for the next thing to happen.
In one of the few photos I have as a child, I’m surprised to find a picture of just me. I was maybe 8 years old in this photo (I think there are 8 candles here?). My sweet mother must have hung the balloons on the ceiling, baked and decorated my birthday cake.
The next birthday photo I have is at age 10 (judging by the calendar on the wall). My next door neighbors Anita and Julie are here to celebrate with me.
My thoughts are interrupted when the nurse calls my name. It’s finally my turn for the blood draw.
I hope she’ll be quick. I need to get home to babysit two little boys ages 1 and 4 coming to my house this morning. Their mom has her own doctor’s appointment today.
Because life is always birthing itself. Once I was young. Once I had young children.
But now I’m older.
I suppose I do belong in this crowd of older people after all. I’ve earned my spot. I’ve put in my time. We may all be in a waiting room, but we’re not just waiting to die. And neither are we waiting to live.
We’re doing both, all the time, living and dying, caught somewhere between young and old, yet still finding our place in the circle of life.
Are you still finding your place secure in the circle of life, whether young or old?
Grace & Truth Featured Post
This post by Lois is what prompted me to look back to old photos of my own. Lois writes about reframing a few memories after an older photo resurfaces that she has never seen.
“Getting older—or losing loved ones who have been around our entire lives—hands us the opportunity to look at life from perspectives other than our own. To reframe a few memories, like I did after I found the picture of me and my dad.”
Read all of Lois’s post here at her blog, then add your own blog posts below.
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- On the Blog—February 2023
- How to Read a Book (i.e., Live a Life) by Pausing on the Page