Tuesday, September 25, 2012


     When I was spending so much time in the hospital with Wayne, I noticed that it was always quiet in the elevator.  People just don’t talk much when they ride from floor to floor.  Have you ever noticed how silent everyone is when you step onto an elevator?  They look at the floor, unless they have a partner to talk with.  Even then, they stop their conversation until they reach their floor.  I guess they’re afraid that someone will hear some deep, dark secret.  In any case, elevators are usually a silent ride to your floor.  Sometimes there is music playing on the elevator, but I feel uneasy when I can’t speak to people.  I guess I’m a busybody, but I like to meet new people and learn where they are going and what is going on in their lives..  Give me ten minutes and I will know your life history.  Based on my curious nature I began an experiment while Wayne was in St. Vincent’s Hospital for so long.
     I decided to strike up a conversation with at least one person each time I rode the elevator, which was about twelve times a day.
     I started my experiment with a crowded elevator the first day.  All the even floors were pressed, so I made mention that we would not be stopping at any odd floors today, speaking in my best elevator operator voice.  When we started up, I called out the floors:  “Second floor, conference rooms, credit union, cafeteria, and if you need beautification, the beauty salon.  All out for the second floor please.”
     Everyone laughed and waited for the next floor.  I had all the floors down pat, because I had been there so long, I knew where everything was.  It was sort of like the old days when the elevator operator would call out all the floors in the department store.  But it made everyone feel more at ease, and they laughed as they left the elevator.  I rode all the way up to the ninth floor that time, even though my husband was on the seventh floor.  It was a lot of fun.
     I got to meet so may interesting people on the elevator.  There was an osteopath, who asked me if I knew what osteopathy was.  I met a tall, dark, handsome man in transportation (they take patients to various activities, such as physical therapy) who took my husband to dialysis.  I found out that he was a model for newspaper ads when he wasn’t working a the hospital.
     Sometimes you meet people that you know on the elevator---yes, even two hundred miles from home.  It sure is nice to have friends who will travel three and half hours just to say hello and see if we need anything.  Wayne’s golfing buddies rode up in the elevator with me.  Of course, they came to visit with my husband, but it’s always a nice surprise to see someone from home.
     When there were tears on the cheeks of a person entering the elevator, I always kept quiet.  I have shed a few myself and know that these times are best spend in quiet reflection.
     I looked on the board at the nurses station one day and found that I knew two people that were in the hospital at that time  It was a surprise to see their names, so I looked them up.  One was the groundskeeper from our golf course.  He was in the room right next to my husband’s and I didn’t even know it.  We had a nice chat about home.  It helped me and I know it was good for him too
     So, you see, there are a lot of wonderful people on the elevator...but you won’t know unless you look up once in a while. Believe me, there are a lot of interestng people with wonderful stories, if you just ask.  I did and I made new friends, even if it was just for a moment.

Moments of peaceful reflection give us the time to
                                                                                           count our blessings.

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