No Wrong Turn

In the summer of 2019, I accompanied my sister to the Hospital Emergency.

After a relatively short wait, her name was called and over the next hour or so, we were directed to a couple of different rooms for various tests to be performed. After the last test was done, we were told to return to the waiting area. My sister would be called when the test results were in.

The labyrinth of back passages from one room to the next was confusing, but we found the exit and took our seats in the waiting area. We waited. And waited. And waited. 15 minutes passed. Then 30. Patients around us were called up, attended to, and left, and still we waited…

After about 30 minutes, a new patient arrived and sat down to my right, a few seats away from me. The waiting area was almost empty by now, apart from a handful of patients, which included my sister and me.

Minutes after she sat down, I heard her start weeping; softly at first, as she covered her face tighter with her scarf, trying to dampen the sounds of her sobs. Then the sobs grew louder and louder, her shoulders heaving with emotion drawn from the depths of her being. Alarmed, I got up, picked up a tissue box from the reception counter and returned to lady, offering her the tissue box. She grabbed a few tissues, whispering “Thank you” as she did so, clutching them to her face as she continued crying. Wordlessly, I sat next to her, placing my right arm over her shoulders as I gently patted her. I stayed like that for a few minutes, offering my arm in a half embrace, a universal gesture of caring and comfort. A moment of shared sisterhood. Slowly, her sobs subsided and the heaving in her shoulders calmed down. I offered her more tissues which she accepted. Then I asked her if she would like some water – I had spotted a vending machine in the corridor just around the corner. She declined the offer and simply said “Thank you so much” with a tentative, brave and beautiful smile. I returned to my seat after putting the tissue box back on the reception counter.

Almost 50 minutes had now passed and still no sign of my sister’s name being called! I returned to the reception counter and inquired as to how much longer it would be. After checking the system, the Receptionist said that we were in the wrong waiting area and directed me to where we needed to go. Walking once again through the labyrinth of back passages to get to the “right” waiting area, my sister commented that we had wasted so much time by taking a wrong turn. I found myself replying that it was, in fact, the right turn that we had taken, for had we not been in that “wrong” waiting room, that lady may not have had anyone to comfort her.

Why do I tell this story? Because it was one of the first times I was able to see things clearly. And by clearly I don’t mean having 20/20 vision. Which need was greater – getting test results a few minutes sooner, or having someone beside you for strength and comfort when you are feeling at your lowest point?

I believe the Universe knows where the need is greatest and channels energies to deal with that need. So next time you find yourself second guessing the circumstances you find yourselves in, try looking at things from a different angle.

Like a ray of light that reveals its full spectrum of colours when shone through a prism, look at the situation from a different perspective, for often that will reveal the main purpose or truth of the matter – which is usually different from preconceived expectations residing in one’s mind.

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