If you missed Silver Bells Part 1 – you can find it here!
Silence descends on us once and I watch Merry’s eyes wander the rooms we slowly pass. I can’t help but follow her gaze. The Nurse is definitely right about the hodgepodge of characters here. We pass what I can only describe as the most stunning woman lying unconscious, her hospital gown could easily be swapped out for one fit for a princess. To our left is a frail older lady who is being visited by the best looking Santa I have ever seen. I would even ask him for a very special present, that is, if I was straight. I do a double-take as it appears he has already been called by a younger version of the bedridden lady who sits on his lap, not unlike a child asking for a very momentous gift. We also pass two small boys laying on a bed with a book between them which appears to be larger than they are, their laughs overshadow the turning of the pages between them.
We pass a few more rooms but my eyes become blurry as the Nurse stops ahead of us and gestures to enter a small room to our right. This space, not one for waiting but for answers.
“Doctor Fitzgibbons will be right with you!” She chimes almost like the real-life incarnation of the bells which continue to ring out around us.
I can feel Merry’s hand once more but this time it feels more like a shove to propel me into the room than as its usual gentle guide. I was probably standing outside like an obstinant donkey not wanting to be present for whatever was to be birthed before me.
The door clicked behind us as we both made an effort to sit down. Merry sat gracefully and I kind of flopped. My hands moved to feel the smooth wood arms of the chair. Arms that had witnessed even more horrors than I had. I hoped they had also been bearers of glad tidings as well.
Merry let me stew in the silence. She always knows how to read me. When to be the strong silent type and when to chat my ear off as a distraction. The only thing she adds as the door handle jiggles is, “It can’t always be bad news.”
Her words echoed in my mind as time felt like everything froze around us and I was transported back to the very first time I was in a chair similar to this. My feet dangling a few inches from the floor and I remember having rolled my socks down into what looked like an inner tube over my sparkly tights.
It hadn’t been the words the Doctor spoke which alarmed me but the way my father had clasped my arm while he spoke. The intense compression had been an odd mixture of painful and soothing at the same time. He held onto me like a lifeline. I was never sure if I had been his or he had been mine. He had never made it to revel in my first remission or the subsequent relapse. I had been happy at least he had been spared the reprieve only to have it taken away again and again.
Tune in for the final part of Silver Bells next Wednesday!