Editor's note: West Linn Adult Community Center volunteer Mary Jean Rivera shares some thoughts about having to wait, and offers tips on how to make it more comfortable.
Unfortunately, or fortunately maybe, we each get to spend some time in waiting rooms, for doctor appointments or at hospitals.
I am truly grateful for the medical care available to us in general, and to me specifically.
But the waiting part can be difficult, especially where surgery is involved and time drags on ever so long and slowly.
During my husband's last year, I kept my waiting room bag packed. May you never need one.
What was in it? A bottle of water. A deck of cards. Magazines of short articles, Reader's Digest or The Sun. Something to write on, notebook and pens. A small blanket for myself, really an oversized warm scarf. My duplicate cell phone charger. Snacks, individually wrapped, and candy. A change of underwear, toothbrush and a lipstick for myself in a plastic bag. Important medical data. Kleenex. Often I kept his wallet in there. And I had supplies for crochet also.
Having these items with me enables me to read, play cards, do some handiwork, write out reminders and other notes of the day, because though waiting is tiresome, it is also very important.
Thankfully we tend to forget the small miseries of cold hard chairs, noisy children, clanking gurneys, chemical odors, and our aching backs that accompany us to these waiting rooms.
We forget a lot.
But do pay attention to others waiting there. They have stories to tell, and they really need a listener who isn't going to rush away, a stranger who is right then sharing their experience.
Look up from your magazine or cards or phone and see them. We often think we can't help others very much, but just the act of listening respectfully is a good deed that you can do on this otherwise difficult day for yourself.
Guaranteed, you will count yourself as blessed!
Mary Jean Rivera is a volunteer with the West Linn Adult Community Center.
Come have lunch
Lunch is served at noon on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at a cost of $5 per person. This week's menu features lasagna, garlic bread and chocolate cookies on Friday, Jan. 3; chicken with broccoli, penne pasta, vegetable medley and chocolate bundt cake on Monday, Jan. 6 and birthday brunch with meat and veggie scramble, bacon and Yukon gold potatoes and fruit salad on Wednesday, Jan. 8.
The West Linn Adult Community Center is located at 1180 Rosemont Road in West Linn.
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