Strolling with the Ghosts

If you do not know by now, I am a country bumpkin.  I was born in the country and that is where I belong.  I love being in the country – and I am definitely not a city dweller.  Traffic, people, noise, bustling about – not for me.  I would rather be on a tractor than an expressway.  My visits to the city are rare and only when I simply MUST.

Because I love my job and, well, frankly, I like paying the mortgage – I obeyed a supervisor command to “Go to the city”.  So here I am, back in Richmond, VA today.  I parked in a central parking deck and decided to walk to my meeting.  I walked by VCU/MCV Medical Center and it hit me like a lightning bolt.

So many ghosts here – both young and old.

When my son was just a little boy, he was so very ill.  He was here at this very medical center so many times.  While strolling with the ghosts, I stopped on a street corner where my son and I shared a hot dog and a soda, awaiting test results.  I can picture his little face, looking up at me – questions I just couldn’t answer.

I strolled along a little farther to the entrance of the Medical Center and I stopped to recall several visits.  Sometimes we came out crying.  Sometimes we came out smiling.

I saw young college students wearing their VCU gear, and I flashed forward to my son in college at VCU.  He walked down these streets, through these doors as a very sick little boy – and then again as an adult – a young college student full of promise and dreams.

VCU launched his career – he became a great doctor.  Many people are alive today because he was there to help them.   He bravely participated in helicopter rescue and on scene emergencies.  Yes, that gives me comfort – but, I am ashamed to admit – sometimes it makes me angry.  Why couldn’t some one help him?  I stop myself.  I try to disrupt those negative thoughts as quickly as I can.  I cannot go there – not now.  Not while I stroll among the ghosts.

I think I will walk past his first dorm building, and maybe take the longer stroll to his first apartment building.  Torture?  Yes.  Healing journey?  I pray so.

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