Early last week I ended up in the emergency room at Campbell River Hospital.
I can think of many different places I would have rather been on a Monday afternoon but nonetheless, that’s where I found myself.
As people strapped down to stretchers were being wheeled in and out – including a 4-year-old boy and a woman who was injured in a motorcycle accident – the emergency room became an increasingly depressing place.
And then an older woman walked in.
The ER quickly transformed from a room that was so quiet you could hear a pin drop to a place that became alive and filled with the sound of chatter.
Though my husband, who enjoys his peace and quiet, would tell you otherwise, to me, looking back, this woman was a ray of sunshine.
She was kind. She was caring.
She even asked the nurses for a warm blanket to comfort a young child who was wrapped up sick in her mother’s arms.
She got people to open up and share their stories of why they were sitting in a place where no one wants to ever be.
I jokingly told my husband that I felt like we should have been on a reality show – Stories from the ER.
There was the young man who was injured at work and would have to do office work for the next while.
There was the young girl who was visiting grandma in Gold River and fell off her bike and hurt her arm.
Then there was the family from Salt Spring Island who were here on a camping trip and instead of being on a ferry back home wound up in the Campbell River Hospital’s ER because the son had an appendicitis attack.
I’m able to share these stories because of her. This woman, who is at the hospital weekly, and who had the uncanny ability to get people who were at their worse, to open up and share their stories with a room full of strangers.
It was the oddest feeling. The ER was almost, dare I say, a lively place.
Everyone was talking. Everyone was sharing their feelings.
It was comforting.
Those six hours I spent at the hospital went by faster than I could have ever imagined.
So, thank you.
Thank you to the woman who made what were some of my darkest hours and a terrible time for both my husband and I just a little bit brighter.
Thank you for bringing a smile to my face, if even for only the briefest of moments.
Thank you for comforting that young girl who was so sick and the girl with her arm all taped up who must of been feeling so scared.
Thank you for having the courage to speak up when the room had been so quiet and everyone was keeping to themselves.
It is so nice to know there are genuine, caring people out there who aren’t afraid to not mind their own business because sometimes, you need someone poking around. You never know what you might uncover.
Sometimes you need someone to talk you through your pain. It can be healing and therapeutic.
And, when it comes to being in the ER, it can help pass the time and make you feel just a little bit better about life and where you are.