Rain, Rain, Go Away

11:04 AM
I hate the rain. Plain and simple.

You would think one who grew up in a rural area sprinkled with farms and crops every quarter of a mile would show a little more appreciation for rain. I'm sure I have at certain moments in my life, but this is a love-hate relationship. And yesterday, I was way over the thin line that separates the two. I lingered on the hate side.

It all started after six, yesterday evening. Kaden, Ian, and I headed down to Virginia to visit a family member in the hospital. There was a slight drizzle as we started on the road. The rain was light, and so was traffic. Easy enough, right?!

After cruising down the highway and receiving mixed signals from CeeCee, our tour guide a.k.a GPS., we arrived at the hospital.

Rain trickled steadily down the drains in the parking garage. We completed each level and circled with caution as pedestrians flocked (no where near a crosswalk) to their cars. Nurses, children, women, men, friends, relatives...people where everywhere.

At one point, I thought we would never find a spot. Nearly each space was marked with a sign that read some form of "Reserved For". We finally found a parking space at the very top of the garage where we were greeted by even more rain.

We entered the building, hopped on the elevator, crossed the pedestrian bridge, hopped on another elevator, read several signs, stood heavily confused in the hospital lobby, and finally sought assistance at the information desk.

Off we were to our destination. We had arrived.

For nearly two hours, we immersed ourselves in conversation. Some was hospital talk, but most of it was about life. Just cheerful banter with slight interruption from the hospital staff. We laughed a lot and that felt wonderful.

As I sat in my chair, which I wrangled from the corner near the unused hospital bed, I peered out the metal blinds. I saw nothing. The air was thick, the sky was dark, and the rain was falling heavily. I mentioned to Ian my dislike for the rain. He brushed it off, and we all continued to talk.

Sitting the closest to the door, I turn my attention indirectly to what is going on in the hallway. A mother, father, and three young girls stood inside a doorway. Their backs were turned, so I was unable to see any facial expressions. The middle child kept getting away from her parents, like most do when they are just learning to walk. She would smile, run, then fall on her bottom. This continued for several minutes.

The youngest daughter stayed in Daddy's arms the entire time. He kept sneaking kisses on her rosy cheeks and she kindly obliged.

I noticed the oldest daughter, maybe three, was holding mommy's hand tightly. She was dressed in a black leotard, pink tights, a tutu-esque bottom, and black dance shoes. Her silence was abnormal for a child of her age. She kept looking at the ceiling, moving her head in circles, and following every tile with her eyes. Not even her tumbling sister could distract her attention.

But someone managed to.

"Grandpa!" That is all I heard. She let go of her mom's hand and nearly jumped into his embrace. He was frail, but managed to bend down to hug her with all his mite. Her heels had come off the ground and her toes barely touched the floor. She was hugging her grandfather and completely unfazed by the surroundings.

I motioned for Ian and Kaden to look. They just laughed me off because I am always ga-ga over the cuteness of little girls.

I peered back into the hall to notice grandpa fixing his hospital gown. His hair was combed to the side and it was silver in color. There weren't many strands there. He had cancer. What amazed me the most is how his spirit showed through his face. Perhaps his family's presence played a role in that, but he did not have to be so optimistic in his condition. But he was.

I watched as the clock ticked away. Each second that passed, the sky grew darker, and the rain pelted on the side of the window.

"Let's get ready guys. It's getting late, and I hate driving in the rain."

We said, "good night," and headed on the path we so hectically discovered on the way in.

The rain was violent. There was an overflow of water spilling onto the cars. We hurried for shelter. I was anxious to get home.

CeeCee begins to speak - her voice competing with yawns coming from both Ian and Kaden, as well as the raindrops on the windshield. She says go right, then left, then straight. Somehow her voice becomes an annoyance. I begin to panic.

I cannot see, my vision is blurred, and the rain has conquered the road. The lines have faded, the pavement is glistening, and I grip the wheel like the little girl at the hospital holding her mother's hand.

"I hate the rain!" "Why did it have to rain today?" "I knew we should have left earlier!"

Blah. Blah. Blah.

I was embarrassed by my behavior. I blame it on the unknown: not knowing where the road leads, not knowing where to turn next, not knowing if we'll be okay. I asked God several times to get us home safely, even handing over prayer duty to Ian. Let's just say I had my "Jesus take the wheel" moment...literally.

Since I am writing this post, you can guess how the story ended. We made it home safe and sound.

You know the rhyme, "Rain, Rain, Go Away. Come again another day"? I've chanted it before, but yesterday it had significant meaning.

While I complained about my dislike for the rain and how I wish it would leave, there were people at the hospital who enjoyed the rain. Seeing it meant they were alive to see another day. The rain was a blessing to them, and the least of their worries. I had no right to complain.

Today, the rain is here again. In fact, it helped me sleep well last night. I even spent some quality time with my son before school. The rain forced us to wait in the car at the bus stop. We talked for awhile.

Rain, rain, if you go away...please come back another day.

Someone needs you rain. Someone enjoys your presence.

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