The Waiting Room
When you’re a kid, the waiting room at the doctor’s office is a top 3 place to be if you must be dragged along on some sort of tedious errand. There are these weird wire toy things that exist only here and in daycares, you get your own little private space away from the adults, AND they have highlights magazine (the hidden picture game is unrivaled). That is how I remember my doctor’s office at least. As you grow older though, it becomes less
acceptable entertaining to play with the toys and highlights must only release one issue a year because by the time you’re 12 you know where the sock is every time. Suddenly when you’re in the waiting room, you realize that you’re just waiting. The last few months have felt like that for me. Here I am. I know what needs to be done, but it won’t happen until the nurse peeks in and calls “Mr. Linscott”.
My first blog ended with dad being released from the hospital after a pretty big scare. It was after this episode that he felt called to share his story with all of you. He talked about fear, blessings, and hope for the future. I was still a kid in the waiting room though. I read and remembered how scary it had been at the time, but when I was done reading I went back to playing with the wire toys. At first glance everything was looking up. Sure there was a very real possibility things would get worse eventually, but in my mind that could have been 5, 10, 40 years. Being in the city away from it all made it easy to pretend that everything had returned to normal. Still, at the same time I wanted to be home more than anything.
In the summer I got a chance to come home for awhile, but why seems to slip my mind. It was sometime in July and we had some type of family get together? Or something? I remember a lot of family and friends being there and eating some food and stuff… What was it? A jenga party? No. Pool party? No, dad hates water. Ohhh right. My little sister got married!
I received this comment from her on my last post, “Ok so how come as your one and only sister I didn’t get a special mention in this blog?? I wrote a song about you and multiple stories and you can’t even mention me? MAN! haha just kidding”. Oh the Dello, if you only knew what was coming. The Dello is what I call her. It comes from a cartoon I watched in junior high school. This character, homestar runner, was searching for a rare and beautiful bird “the yellow dello”. Shara was wearing yellow that day and the rest is history. Besides there is no phrase that is more fun to utter that “Helloooo dellooooo”. She has a more affectionate name for me, “cwapface”, it comes from the same cartoon. I even have a voicemail on my phone from when she called to tell me she was engaged where she addresses me as such. I’ve always been close with my siblings. I guess you kind of have to be when you’re homeschooled, otherwise its tough to have friends at school. Joking aside, they are both wonderful people whom I love dearly. At holidays lately, Shara, Jake and I, like to sit around and reminisce on the few days where we were able to break mom’s iron will and earn an unexpected day off from learning. Now suddenly Shara was all grown up and getting married!
The wedding was beautiful. It helps that Shara’s husband (Jake G., yes another Jake. My poor Gramma) is an amazing man who is loved by our whole family. One of my favorite parts of the wedding was that my dad, who just 3 months before thought he might not live to see another week, was the one to join the two souls. I enjoyed this for two reasons. First, because I knew he’d been looking forward to it since the moment they had asked him and second because it meant we were able to tease him endlessly about how he would undoubtedly cry at the wedding. When the day of the wedding came I sent Shara a text that said “Its gonna be pretty funny today at the wedding, when dad, Jake, and I are all crying, and you and mom are just smiling”. It was meant to be a joke. Yet when dad asked Shara to speak her vows there was a little choke in his voice. Then from behind me tearful noises from little brother Jake and suddenly it was all over for me too. Because up at the front of the stage I didn’t see the stunning 21 year old adult woman the audience saw. I saw a little blonde haired girl pushing me over in the snow (onto a stake mind you), playing in the treehouse with me (upset she couldn’t pee outside), and quite contentedly singing “Josh is a plebian, plebian, plebian. Josh is a plebian YA!” (her way of remembering the Plebians were the poor, commoner class of ancient Rome). I love that all those stories have deeper back stories only she will understand. As the tears streamed, dad attempted to pronounce Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Groom.
We knew he’d cry. One reason being that he cries at everything, especially these days, and the other reason being that there is no doubt he loves each of his children more than words can describe. In a world where it is common to grow up in broken homes, to have fractured relationships with parents, and to feel it is impossible to measure up to expectations, I have a dad who has made sure that above everything else I know he loves me. Don’t think that I say that lightly. I’m blessed. I’m spoiled. I know. See, if it were me in my dad’s position, if my liver was failing he’d make sure I got a new one. If my liver was failing and he could give me his, but it wouldn’t grow back, he’d still try and give it to me. This is why when my parents told me they didn’t want a family member risking the donation process I laughed at them. Its not their choice. Besides, there is another Father who’s got my back.
At the reception we danced like no one should ever dance! No really. I doubt that anyone has ever truly looked good while dancing, but when you realize that I think it only increases the level of fun. That night though, in the waiting room, I was suddenly distracted from my toy. Downstairs I heard SCREAMS of pain. The day had been a little much for dad. His calves were cramping uncontrollably and he was in agony. I hated watching it. There was nothing I could do to help and it felt terrible. Luckily though with a little rest he was feeling better again by the time I left for Manhattan, so back in the waiting room I grabbed a highlights magazine.
The next few months were somewhat uneventful. At least compared to how I would describe eventful now. Unfortunately, things were definitely still on a decline. It was frustrating. In my heart I wanted to believe dad would never get any worse. I prayed that God would keep him at least at some semblance of health. I even prayed for a miracle, that He would heal my dad! Those things didn’t come. No matter how hard I tried to deny it, eventually I had to accept that my dad was sick and that things may get worse. And they did. I remember the point at which I stopped denying in my heart that he was sick. It was the end of October and he called to tell me he had just been at Lahey Clinic. They had decided the time had come to start evaluating him for a liver transplant. He was on “the list”. Within an instant things the situation became very very real. The toys were no longer interesting and it was obvious that the sock is in that guy’s sleeve. I was still in the waiting room, but suddenly I was just waiting…
Much like how you’re going to have to keep waiting until later for this story to continue. Goodnight friends.