Last weekend I was in the emergency room at Waukesha Memorial Hospital for a family member's health needs, beginning around 1 a.m. For many hours we were in the ER as tests were run and decisions were made regarding a diagnosis and treatment. Eventually my family member was admitted to the hospital, and moved to a room around 9 a.m.
Between 5 - 6 a.m., I was struggling to stay awake, so I walked around the second floor of the hospital, enjoying the beauty of the large lobby and counting down the moments until the cafeteria opened and I could buy some good, strong coffee. What was amazing to me during this time was the gentle sound of music, almost bells, that I heard twice. That sound, which is only 10 seconds long could easily have been missed, but during those early hours I felt priviledged to hear it, knowing that each time a baby had been born in the hospital.
In our downtown Waukesha office at Interfaith Senior Programs, we have an antique bell that is rung to communicate to everyone that one of our clients has died. We started doing this only recently, as the staff member who changed our computer system to indicate the death of a client felt that we needed to at least take a brief moment to recognize a client's death. This afternoon I heard that bell ring twice, giving me pause to recognize that two of our seniors had died.
Funny how these short moments of sound can help ground me to important life events.