Buzzing alarm clock shocks me awake well before sunrise…
“Wow! Here we go! Today’s the day!”
And then I noticed something that blew me away…
Despite all the stress and anxiety that consumed me over the past few months, I felt remarkably and absolutely at peace.
To this day, I struggle to find the words to describe my state of mind that morning. Everything seemed to happen on autopilot… and yet, I was a fully present witness to it all. It was as if all my self-consciousness disappeared… as if I became a detached observer… neither sad nor afraid… wrapped in absolute serenity.
And so, I went about my business… taking a shower, brushing my teeth, putting on my socks and shoes, driving to the hospital… casually realizing, but not bothered by, the possibility that I may be doing all these simple things for the very last time.
I arrived at the hospital a bit early… and noticed there was a grand piano in the lobby. A lovely surprise. I sat down, lifted the lid, and quietly played a mutant version of “Take the Long Way Home” as I mumbled the words to myself… some smiles and nods of appreciation from the only two people sitting nearby… surely about to have a big day themselves.
I smiled and nodded in return, as I gently lowered the lid, knowing that this might be the last time I ever got to play. Oh, but what a privilege it was.
And I remember telling myself, as I walked over to check in, that, if this was the end, I was going to go down with gratitude, good humor, courage, and dignity. Oddly, I did not feel like a hero.
And so, I made sure to have fun with… and to thank everyone I came into contact with that morning. Everyone. The receptionist, nurses, techs, and doctors. To thank them not just for coming to work that day, but for all the time, energy, and discipline they invested in learning how to do what they were all about to do.