I’m at the hospital this morning. My friend Elizabeth is having her final surgery this morning. E has been battling breast cancer, and is fully expected to beat it. I’m at Medical City Hospital, and this is one crazy place. The cute little old man at the information booth sent me to the wrong floor. After visiting a few restricted areas, I talked to a friend that gave me the correct info. I found her and got to spend some time with her before her surgery prep.
Last night was the Chateau Cinema showing of It’s a Wonderful Life. Block parties in my neighborhood are always a blast! We had to wait for some warmer weather to do this one, so it was a last minute thing. I borrowed the extra projector from work, yes, the one that says ‘replace bulb’ which always makes me nervous that it will choose to die when I have 20+ people watching it.
I like getting together like this, however organizing events is not my gift. I have to do things spontaneously, not planned. Jay has the best plan, just do something and invite people on your Facebook status. Now that’s my kind of inviting people! I did print small invites for everyone on the street and the boys and I taped them on every door.
Every neighborhood has a creepy house that everyone avoids and ours is no exception. The boys were taking turns going from house to house, and we were quickly nearing the dark angel house. I had every intention of skipping this house and thought if I distract my kids, we could walk past it without them knowing. As I tried to execute my plan, Cole noticed we were skipping a house, and as he proceeded to the door, he made no secret that he was irritated about me even considering the possibility of excluding someone.
They just rolled E down the hall. She’s ready for surgery, well, as ready as anyone can be. We lined up on both sides of the hall and did the sporting event hand slaps as they rolled her toward the restricted area. We love you E and we’ll see you in a few hours!
Everything was set up in the front yard for the outdoor theater. Movie screen, check. Projector and speakers, check. Patio furniture and fire pit, check. Inflatable Santa, check. No, not really, but my next door neighbor has one. Yes, we’re ready for sunset and an awesome time with friends, drinking hot chocolate and toasting the giant pillow-sized marshmallows I brought back from Mexico.
We started the movie and many people showed up, not only from our street, but from the Facebook invite. The kids had fun playing while the adults watched the movie. Toward the end of the movie, the temperature dropped significantly, then the kids came to snuggle with their parents.
The hospital just moved us to the pediatric waiting room, although I’m not sure why. Maybe because E, like me, is a kid at heart. Or maybe it’s because all of us, her friends, act like children in the waiting room and they don’t want us disturbing the grown-ups. Well, either one makes sense. We’re going to go downstairs and grab a bite to eat before heading to our new location.
The movie ended and everyone helped me do a quick clean up, then they headed home. I went inside to my warm, cozy house and was immediately overcome with sadness. I thought about all the homeless people that endure this bitter cold every single night. I want to help them. I don’t know what that means yet, but it’s on my heart. Maybe I need to start the ‘shares‘ program here like they have in Chicago. Maybe I need to go downtown and experience the homeless situation in my own area, meaning Frisco and Dallas. This feeling won’t go away, maybe it’s part of that Christmas spirit I’m so desperate to find, although it’s not what I expected.
I’ve had this feeling for a long time, but it’s been getting stronger lately. I was hoping to cross paths with some homeless or impoverished people on my trip to downtown Dallas last week, and as I said in an earlier blog post, I was ready to help. I’m glad I didn’t see any of them, as it was very cold that night and I was hoping they all found warm shelters somewhere. But more than that, I wanted an education that night. I want to know their stories and how they got there. This photo is staged, but makes me think this might be a likely scenario one night when we are at home in our suburban palaces.
We just got word via a small scalpel icon on the large FamilyVue plasma screen that they’ve started E’s surgery. A little impersonal, but it’s good to know what’s going on. They have a little icon that looks like stitches when they start sewing people up too. Again, this seems a little odd, but again it’s nice to know what’s happening. I suppose that keeps people from pacing and wearing out the carpet like they did in the olden days.
I miss doing photo shoots with E. She and I are the ones that started the ‘photo safari’ group. We’ve had some great times scoping out small towns, looking for abandoned houses or any other interesteing places we can trespass. Just for the record, if “keep out” or “no trespassing” is posted, then we don’t go in. But that doesn’t mean we stay out of trouble.
I keep thinking about these feelings I have, the ones of concern and love. I’m aware of worrying about my close friend and also thinking about homeless people I don’t even know. These feelings are very similar, although very different. I realized today, whether it’s my closest friend or someone I don’t even know, all of these people mean a lot to me. Life is the greatest gift and we should cherish it. The Christmas spirit feels closer today. It really is a wonderful life.