Trying to catch up, but...

I am SO FAR BEHIND. Dave Winer's coming to town? How were the Feb. 1 Sit-In commemorations received? Allen Johnson's blog is up and running and a big hit? Letters to the Editor are now open for comments? Gate City being courted by the N&R? Guilford b-ball player sinks once in a lifetime game-winning shot at the buzzer? Jay had surgery? Thigpen starts rockin' the house (as he should) with socio-political posts?

I don't know whether Greensboro has too many blogs, not enough blogs, or just the right amount. But I can tell you that if you miss a week of them, you miss A LOT.

However, there is nothing like spending a week at a hospital in crisis mode with your family to place your priorities in the correct sequence. I love my blog, I miss my blog when I can't get to it, and I miss reading others' blogs -- it's become such an important part of my day and my connection to Greensboro. But sometimes, the real world needs you more.

While my mother underwent exploratory heart surgery, I sat in the cardio-thoracic waiting room on the 9th floor of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. They had a computer there with internet access, and once in a while I jumped on to check email (or the weather reports, to see how much snow I was missing.) That awful day, my head buzzing with worry, I signed on to Blogger to post something, anything, to signal to the blogosphere that I was still alive.

I just got past the sign-on screen when a conversation suddenly came into focus behind me. It was a mother and her two grown sons. I glanced back. Each son had an arm around their mother. They were huddled together on an uncomfortable bench. They were talking about taking their husband/father off life support.

"Well even if it gave him six more months, what would those six months be like?" I heard the mother say. The sons voiced their agreement. One of them volunteered that another family member was "at peace with it." They were talking each other toward the conclusion that each of them seemed to have already made. They were clinging to each other. I signed off of Blogger and went back to my mother's hospital room for what seemed like an interminable wait.

My mother recovered well from the surgery, and though I am still worried, I know that she got excellent care, and her immediate health crisis has passed. This past week seemed like a month, and it's not just because so much happened in Greensboro while I was gone. It's because I spent the week at a hospital.

While babies were just beginning their lives on the 4th floor, lives were ending abruptly in the Trauma Center downstairs. While I roamed the hallways in perfect health, six year olds with incurable illnesses were brought by ambulance to the Children's Hospital. While my heart soared to see my mother wheeled back into the room, drowsy but awake, thanking each of the nurses by name, two sons were trying to find the words and the courage to help their mother say goodbye to their father.

So I'm sorry I didn't have much to say on Chewie World Order last week. But sometimes, I'm finding, it's better just to be there, be silent, and be grateful.

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