So Not only was I in the waiting room with the European family, but with a beautiful female Aboriginal Elder.
The waiting room was packed and I was stuck in the corner, but the corner people got called into the doctor’s offices and sure enough, the only place to sit was by me.
She walked in barefoot with two other women who were also aboriginal but worked for the hospital. I could tell by the way they spoke to her that she was important in her tribe, and through deduction I believe she was/is an elder. I am not aboriginal, but I have learnt a lot about some of the different tribes and still have a lot to learn. It fascinates me that there are so many traditions and differences between tribes in different areas, and just like native Americans, there are different traditions and ways of handling things.
I suddenly became aware of how unnatural our surroundings were, and imagined her connecting with the outside world a little better than the building we were in. She often had her gaze out the window.
During this time the two women that worked for the hospital and government were asking about getting more clothes for her and how to go about doing that. She said calmly “I don’t need anything” as she kept her gaze out the window. One of the women responded “but what if you want something? Besides the dress you are wearing, all you have brought with you is your Pajamas?” She smiled and she said “That’s all I need”. They girls kept saying “It’s not about what you need but what you want.” I could tell that they were not all seeing eye to eye, but the women were trying to help, while the beautiful aboriginal woman just smiled to herself and looked out the window in total peace.
I couldn’t help but just admire that. What was she thinking? Why was she so calm when she obviously had challenges being that she was in the cancer clinic, and from the discussion these women were having with her, she was never going to have a chance to live in her home again. She was really sick.
Other seats opened up around me to move as they were obviously speaking about things that were private in my view, but at the same time, I didn’t want to get out of my seat – due to this peace that this beautiful woman seemed to radiate.
She mentioned something about being happy in her pajamas all the time, rarely making eye contact but staring at the clouds outside the window. The two girls talked, one of them saying how it took all their effort to get her changed in her room to come here to the waiting room. I kept looking at her bare feet… realizing how unnatural of an environment it was for her. I did think about all the ground her feet had walked on, and if she ever wore shoes.
It made me think of all the things that I feel I need in my life but she kept insisting all she needed was her Pajamas, while smiling with peace.
I then started wondering what her Pajamas looked like. Were they that comfortable that one of the ladies with her did actually have a hard time getting her to change? Obviously there was a compromise with the footwear… or hopefully an understanding.
I know it sounds weird but I then remembered that one of my favorite gifts I have received while in the hospital has been a comfy pair of Pajamas. Sure you gotta wear those horrible gowns – in vomit green and choking purple – sorry (some people do wear them wonderfully as it’s their color) but my favorite part is when the nurses tell you it’s okay to wear your own clothes. You start to feel human again, having something that is yours with you, and on you. Not just a patient anymore – your own clothes make you feel like a person.
Anyway – I know it sounds weird but I thought for me to get myself “looking forward” to hospitalization – I want to get myself some new Pajamas – along with what I call “my hospital socks” as those too were a gift for me 18 years ago in the hospital and they have become more popular and like regular socks. I’m definitely not as comfortable with being barefoot as the beautiful Aboriginal lady, but I will happily wear socks with grips on the feet (I’ve been told they are called Pilates socks – apparently for exercising… ahem… not for me – this is for me walking in a hospital).
Although I’m not sure if I should get Satin Pajamas, Cotton Pajamas, nighties or pants.. I will check with a nurse friend first to find out what design would be more suitable to my surgery….
SO I’m on the hunt to make me feel as comfortable as possible! Maybe if I stare out the window like the beautiful Aboriginal lady, I might be able to convince myself I’m not at the hospital.