The Long Way Home

roadSo the other day, I got lost.

On my way to PT.

IN the hospital.

It all started with the main parking garage and a woman waving in front of it.

Apparently, it was full.

But little old me had to drive by it three times to get that memo and the woman waving had to loudly overarticulate,

“IT IS FULL.  GO TO THE OTHER ONE.”

Well, you might have just said the blooming hospital was closed.

Color me super confused.

So much so that even though I’d been to the other garage many a time, I had to pass by it also in triplicate to find my way in.

Seriously, highways have detour signs, shouldn’t parking garages? Or at least more women waving and overarticulating at various street corners?

Just help a neuro patient out, why don’t ya!

So imagine my loss when I had to park OUTSIDE on the top of the garage.

I had never been there before, which for all of you non-short-term-memory-issue people is just blessedly asking for it.

I’m sure I looked lost the minute I walked in the door and I’m equally certain I sounded looney tunes as I muttered,

“Now let’s see, I am on which floor?  HMMM… Okay, well, then…hmmm…oh, pbblt.”

As I kept going through double door after double door, I had that gut feeling I was going the wrong way when I saw her.

A super adorable lady who knew I was lost.

“Where are you going?” she asked.

“I don’t know, do you?”

Laugh. Hoot. Giggle.

Somewhere in all the merriment, I eeked out, “PT,” which made her laugh harder because I was SOOOO not even close.

Honestly, between her broken English and my confusion, I think all we did was shamelessly crack ourselves up for a good ten minutes as she tried to explain how to get me going in the right direction and I kept responding with, “Now when do I turn left?”

Finally, we cut our losses, she handed me a map, turned me in the right direction and said “Just keep going!!!!!!”

And then I somehow ended up in plastic surgery.

Trying to be proactive and avoid the embarrassment of actually walking into an OR, I stopped at the check-in desk and made what I thought was a hilarious joke,

“Hey, I’m supposed to go to PT today but I thought I’d check to see if I could squeeze a tummy tuck in on my way down?!?”

The lady was not amused.

She gave me a look that clearly said, “Lord, I am ever so thankful I work here and not with patients who have lost their ever-loving minds.” And then she pointed her finger toward the direction of the elevator.

Still clueless as to where I’d end up, I hopped on, pushed G and waited for the door to open.

And when it did, there I was where it had all begun, the main parking garage and the woman waving.

Bless it.

Huffing and puffing my way into the PT waiting room, I launched into an “I am so sorry.  I got lost, SO lost.  But now I have a map!”

To which the lady at this desk smiled and said reassuringly, “You just took the long way! But we are so happy you are here now!!!”

(All the while leaving me with the sneaking suspicion she has said those words before.)

I barely sat down when my PT peeked her head around the corner, throwing me into another,

“I am so sorry.  I was BOOOOOOKING trying to get to you!  I mean, for me, I was booking.”

“For you…”

Laugh. Hoot. Giggle.

Now if there was ever any doubt about my efforts, all vanished when my pulse reading registered.

“Oh, Sara…”

“I know!!! BUT I MADE IT!!!!”

“You did. You did it, girl! And we’re so very glad you’re here!”

Whew.

Man, the mind is a precious thing, y’all.

But do you know what is even more precious?

The journey we take.

Sometimes, we end up in the oddest of places.

Sometimes, we feel like we are a million miles from where we know we need to go.

Sometimes, we wish that every character we meet was as happy as my lady in the hall.

And sometimes, we end up right back where we started.

Realizing we took the long way Home.

But at the end of the journey, no matter how winded or tired or wounded we are, no matter how long we’ve fumbled and sojourned and zig-zagged around, someone waits.

A Father.  A Savior.  A Saint.

Ready to welcome us to the place we REALLY belong.

Ready to hold and heal as we breathlessly say in perpetual unison, “I MADE it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

And ready to answer back,

“You did!!!!  You did it!!!! And we are so very glad you’re Home.”

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