Family Updates + Room

Who's coming for tea? Guest post!

This is my friend Belinda. I've mentioned her in a few previous posts. Today, she's taking a shot at guest posting. She does not have her own blog, but I'm hoping if you all show her enough of the comment love maybe she'll consider!

Belinda is an amazing friend; she's hysterical, and full of life. She introduced me to my husband, and she and her husband stood in our wedding. Her daughter just turned one, and though they've been thrown several curve balls this past year the bond between the two of them is beautiful to witness. Belinda recently survived a battle with a little thing called cancer, and came out swinging on the other end with grace and empowerment like no other.

Please join me in welcoming my friend Belinda to the blog world! Here is her account of a recent adventure to visit a patient at MacLean Psychiatric Hospital.

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A Night on the 2nd Floor

The 2nd floor of MacLean Psychiatric Hospital always seems like a longer elevator ride than I think it should be. I clutch whatever I am bringing to him, I always bring something. I think maybe if I bring the right thing I can make him better. If I could only find just the right thing. Chocolate, pizza, Pad Thai, or gum. Something magic, something to heal him.

When I get off the elevator and walk to the door to ring the bell I always feel like I am 10 years old. i wish my mother was with me. I don't know how to act and I want to look to her for social cues. How do I stand, what do I say. What if I need to cry. How do I stay strong and cheerful and upbeat in the face of such pain and fear. I always feel like they are going to turn me away, tell me I don't belong here, that I got the hours wrong or that I can't come to the 2nd floor.

They always let me in. They see a 30 year old. They see an adult. They see someone who knows the rules and follows them. Someone who doesn't cause any problems. Someone who reads the signs and knows the hours of the 2nd floor.

When I see him I always feel relief. Even if he looks bad he always looks the sane. He looks saner than the people around him. He looks saner than the 2nd floor.

While we sit and talk I get so distracted by what is happening around me. I get distracted by the history. The history of the 2nd floor. Was this where Sylvia Plath stayed? Was that her room? What about James Taylor? Did he use this bathroom? Why am I such a jerk, why do I let my mind wander to stereotypes? Why can't I stop thinking of John Nash and Girl interrupted?

Time moves fast on the 2nd floor. No matter how long I have it is always too short. It feels like it is always time to leave. I hate to leave. I hate to admit to myself that I did not bring magic this time. The salad and root beer were not the body and blood with the power to heal. They were nothing more than dinner.

I want to stay with him on the 2nd floor just so I don't have to have that horrible feeling of walking away.

beautiful, Belinda, guest post, life, love, and more:

Who's coming for tea? Guest post! + Room