Thursday, December 02, 2010

PAINTING STUDIO Home by Stephen Craig Rowe

     Sunday night before my trip sleep was hard to find as I kept waking and looking at the clock, then trying to fall back asleep only to wake seemingly moments later to look at the clock again.  On Monday I did take a good nap in the van on the road to Danville for the landscape was as drab and grey as the day.  Cold and winds prevailed through mid week.  On the lodging ward of the VA Medical Center in Danville I did have a room to myself and was glad that the evening meal was by no means fit to eat because I wanted to limit my intake in order to ease the cleansing that would take place on Tuesday night.  The hospital sounds on Monday night made sleep hard to find but on Tuesday morning a good nap was taken on the van on the road to Indianapolis.
     On Tuesday arrived at the VAMC in Indy early in the morning but did not have any appointments until Wednesday so I visited some staff, made myself useful here and there with fellow Veterans, then spent some time in the computer lab.  Checked into the hotel around 4pm and began the cleansing prep for the procedure on Wednesday.  Had to drink eight ounces of the foul mixture every ten minutes until 12 glasses were consumed and it sure did clean me out.  Hotel noise and jets flying over made Tuesday night sleep hard to find as my thoughts raced toward the procedure on Wednesday morning.
     Before the colonoscopy my surgeon came into the room and introduced himself with a hand shake.  I said, " Doctor, there is no need to introduce yourself.  How could I ever forget the man who saved my life. "  As we all take pride in our work my remark had the desired effect and caused him to smile thus putting all in the room at ease.  The procedure was flawless and the results were outstanding.  No cancer and the next scope will be in three years! 
     Upon hearing this news, I damn near cried for joy but saved my tears and said a quiet prayer of thanks. 
     As I waited for the van to take me home I noticed a fellow veteran I had seen the previous day who had Parkinson like symptoms and was wearing a short sleeve cotton shirt waiting in the lobby.  Winter winds and cold had finally settled into the mid west.  I went to the canteen and bought an insulated hooded sweat shirt, took it to the lobby and gave it to the fellow veteran.  He said that he had a coat at home and as I helped him  put it on I said that though you are far from home, this  is home.  Merry Christmas.  He shook my hand and thanked me.
     That afternoon on the van ride back to Peoria a much needed nap was in order though interrupted by road sounds and sway of the coach I was only half asleep.  Late afternoon as the sun set on the horizon the light cast below the clouds formed a band of red that flashed behind trees, farms, hedges and the place where land meets the sky.  I was fully awake then and in that beauty my eyes became wet as the last blaze of light seemed to sink into the earth.
     Though it was dark when I arrived home, the house was full of light, had a drink or two, a fine home made meal, a wonderful telephone conversation with the fine arts photographer in Georgia and went to sleep with a smile on my face and slept like a rock.
As ever be well,  Stephen Craig Rowe
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