Through the Chair to ?
by Loraine Ritchey firstname.lastname@example.org
Insignificant things – empty waiting room chairs- we pass them every day in one area of our lives or another; we don’t give them much thought unless you are in need of one.
They are found in common areas , as you come off of the elevators, in the test facilities.
Taussig Center (SOURCE)
I seem to have sat in a great many of them in the past year. I have waited for good news and bad, read a little and sometimes had sustenance and then moved on to another chair , my heartache and hope going with me. For a brief moment in time a chair gave some comfort and held my tormented body and soul as best it could in the “worry rooms”.
Each day, as I made my way through the clinic to the Bone Marrow Transplant Center, I would pass one of the “chairs” upon which I had previously waited, serving as a reminder of the chapters and timelines of Cancer. As I passed there was usually someone sitting waiting, as I had done, – for what I wondered?
As I walked past thoughts would come “What news would they be receiving?” , “Why were they there?” Sometimes a brief smile would flicker across a face, an hello, a brief moment of communication in passing .
Sometimes, those that now occupied the chairs would tell their story- I never knew their names, who they really were , who sat in the chairs, we just shared a moment , reaching out , needing to say the words out loud, to be listened to for just a little while.
There was the mother whose daughter had had 19 holes drilled in her head, and had 213 leads attached. She would be going home for a week before another surgery .
The Grandfather, from Tennessee waiting for his grandson to recover ,who for three weeks had sat watching as his 21 year old grandson (who now weighed just103 lbs) as he recovered from a bowel operation and regained his strength. Would this last operation make his grandson whole again?
The daughter waiting for news of her father, the young mother waiting for the results of her twins. The wife- distraught over medical bills, fighting for her husband’s life.
They all sat in those self same chairs, not looking at anything really – lost – as I had been – in some parallel universe of uncertainty , grounded by something as simple as a chair.
I probably will never know what happened to my fellow travelers – will their news be good or bad, success or failure?
And the chairs wait– for the next story , the next person , the next “hope” – silent – as the prayers of their occupants
PHOTO “The Waiting Room” -The Family Waiting Room at the Cleveland Clinic taken through frosted glass. View On Black PAUL CSIZMADIA
Note :in searching the web for a photo I came across the above by a young man PAUL CSIZMADIA- trying to contact him for permission to use his photo I was surprised to read his profile:
“I’m a 21 year old aspiring photographer from Lorain, OH.
My dad is P.Csizmadia
and he helped get me into photography. I am also currently enrolled with the New York Institute of Photography’s professional studies program.
Normally , I would not have tried through a Flickr upload , to contact the photographer, it takes some effort and waiting and I don’t usually have the time.
However, seeing as this ( of all the photos on the web that suited my post ) was taken by a young man from Lorain and knowing some of his Flickr friends as well as the fact the Chronicle Telegram had also used photos by P. Csizmadia
I thought therefore I would go the extra mile and I would try and contact him. Thanks to the Chronicle and also to the Flickr Friends and Paul’s Dad for all the information.
NOTE: another story from the “waiting room” with the chair as a common denominator.