Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Flowers (10/03/05)
TITLE: Potted Flowers for a Friend
By Angela Schultz
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
“Good morning,” I responded.
“These came for you this morning just in time for you to go home.” I put on my glasses to see her set a pot filled with daisies on the shelf next to my other miscellaneous gifts and cards.
“Who are they from?”
“Well, let me see.” She said as she straightened the flowers and lowered her glasses. “It looks like from grandma and grandpa Shomler. I do have to say Angela; you have quite a good support group. Not so many people are as lucky as you.”
I smiled, and nodded in agreement. It was true; I had been blessed with a very supportive family and had a wonderful fiancée who had a very loving family. Actually grandma and grandpa Shomler were his grandparents, but as far as I was concerned they were mine too.
As soon as I sat up in my bed, the idea of going home, became real. I had been in this hospital room for only five days this time, yet this by far seemed like the longest stay.
This was in part due to my roommate. I had liked roommates in the past, but this woman was a cantankerous old woman. From the moment she got here she snapped at the nurses, never made eye contact, and insisted that she needed “more meds.”
She wouldn’t make a sound till a nurse came in the room, and on cue would begin moaning.
The nurse of course would ask her, “What is your pain level,” as they all do.
Though I highly doubted it, she would say, “Oh it’s a ten, definitely a ten, I need some more meds. Oh! It hurts so bad.” The nurse would wink at me as she grabbed a needle from her cart and went over to give the woman “more meds.”
It surprised me how freely the nurses would give medication. Yet the nurse always talked to her sweetly, and trusted the woman at her word.
This morning wasn’t any different.
Waiting for my mom, I began putting on my clothes and placing the flowers on a cart to be taken home.
“So you’re getting out of here,” I jumped surprised to hear the woman next to me speak.
“Uh huh,” I said needlessly arranging the flowers.
“Why someone so young like you, in a place like this.”
“I have ulcerative colitis.” I said curtly.
“Oh really,” she said, “So do I. I keep coming back for more, but I just can’t go through surgery, you know.”
“I can understand that.”
She paused briefly then pointed to the flowers, “You have quite the fan club.”
I glanced towards her section of the shelf that remained bare. “I have a big family.”
“That’s a real blessing, I got a divorce about a year back, and my son never comes and visits me.”
I could feel her gaze bare into my skin, but I continued to adjust the flowers.
“Oh, looks like Oprah is on,” she said.
I felt guilty I hadn’t made more of an effort to talk.
Moments later my mom came in followed by the nurse. The nurse began setting the wheelchair up next to my bed. I felt exhausted and kept feeling a sense of regret at my attitude towards my neighbor.
“Alright, it’s all ready for you,” the nurse said gesturing towards the wheelchair.
I stood and began to walk around the wheel chair.
“Angela, you’ve been here enough to know I have to wheel you out,” the nurse said sternly.
“Oh I know, just one moment.” I grabbed the potted daisies that lay on the cart.
“Mam,” I said, my neighbor looked me in the eye, “I thought you would like these,” Setting them on her shelf.
“Thank you.” She said. Her eyes were friendly. Her voice sounded cheerful without a hint of pain.
As we left, Mom said, “Well that was sweet, I thought you didn’t like her.”
“Oh, she’s just in a lot of pain. She’s actually really nice, but then again, most people are.”
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