Coffee and antiseptic is the smell of the hospital to me. That smell is as familiar as coming home and while I know for many people this odd combination of fragrance carries a myriad of meanings and feelings.
What began as a life long journey for this twenty-two year old woman of such an innocence has in the last forty years become one of the most essential teachers of Wisdom on my road map of life.
Forty years ago I was young and new at Loss. Not a master of loss as I am now…
I learned that while “science/medicine/technology” gives a perception of control it simply cannot ultimately answer the deep questions of life. Science can achieve many wondrous feats but it is powerless in its outcome alone.
Once you see a patient’s eye shine with gratitude or you hold a total stranger in your arms as their life tumbles down around them one of two things will happen. Either your heart will break (which is okay and mine often has) or your blood will cringe and you will not be able to stay.
In the halls, rooms, and waiting rooms of this place that smells like coffee and antiseptic I have learned that as driven as we are to present our lives as if full and orderly the soul of a human and the meaning of life cannot be answered by mere science and knowledge.
The stuff life is made of goes on outside of these walls…Normal stuff…pushing your baby on a swing…normal stuff…listening to your clothes dryer hum all night long because you never get all the laundry done…on and on this list could go…normal stuff.
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13