It was six thirty p.m. and dark outside N. Fulton Hospital. I trudged down to the lower lobby wearing my mask to protect me from the polluted indoor air of the medical facility where I had been sitting with my sister in CCU or waiting in the family waiting room until visiting hours.A man in a golf cart had earlier brought me from the parking deck and he told me someone would be available to take me to my car later. I stopped at the security desk and asked the uniformed young woman if someone could take me to my car parked on the second level of the parking lot across the street.
I told her I could do that. I heard her call on a radio and ask for someone to come and give me a ride to my car. She made a second call a few minutes later. Two large white pickups stopped out front, but picked up waiting passengers, family members it seemed.
"Come on and get in this chair." She folded down the foot rests making sure I was comfortable and had my bags in my lap.
"Where is your car parked?" Her attitude was a nice change from the woman behind the desk.
I felt compelled to explain why I, a woman who looked perfectly able to walk the distance, had to call for help. Empathy softened the voices of both women, and they said I didn't have to explain. I was most appreciative of the ride, and my helper said she enjoyed the hike.
I look back over the past few years and smile at the new me. All of my life I was a stickler for obeying the rules, submitting to authority, any kind of authority. I often coerced Barry to obey rules, although the rules might be dumb as dirt.
Living on my own for a while, I gained more wisdom about life. Some rules just don't work for me. In the case of this hospital, there are no handicap parking places within easy walking distance to the front door. Why would a hospital, of all places, have no handicap parking near the door? I think the staff understands this oversight by the powers- that- be. I think that is why no one gives me a ticket for illegal parking. Perhaps they know my car because I've spent many hours there in the past year. Perhaps some of the security guards quietly ignore my indiscretion because they see me come in and out alone and know I am there only because I can't stay away.
As long as my dear sister is inside the facility, I will be there to help her. And until they give me a bed in the CCU, I'll be leaving there late at night or in the wee hours of the morning.