Her hair has a yellowish/white tint, somewhere between ivory and death, and she’s on a rant about Obama and the End of Days; fourteen others from her church group nod along. With a wave of her a hand, she dismisses the television and says, “I can’t even look at that–” The local news is reporting on a cruise ship fiasco. “The mainstream media…”

The conversation continues and stomachs jiggle when they return to lighter topics. But then from the other direction a man in a motorcycle mustache cries “and that’s the problem with ‘merica.”

This hospital celebrates unhealthy eating. Its cafe sells deep-fried delights to a mostly overweight staff. I toss my breakfast sandwich in the trash after two bites. This is a waiting game. Waiting and worrying. She’s two hours into the operation now. The world will have one less thyroid when they finish. And four fewer tumors.

It’s a relief to finally deal with this though. It was in August when she asked me to check a lump. We were leaving in two days for India. The lump was undeniable and we managed to get it examined before leaving. While the threat of cancer soured our trip considerably, the biopsies thankfully came back negative. But the lumps, thyroid nodules, were too big to ignore. Doctors allowed a deferral on the operation so that she could get her shop running first. And here we are.

I’m glad I brought headphones today. The gaggle of angry conservatives is much better without sound.

***

Here’s a pic from last night as we celebrated her birthday with my parents. Cake always trumps hospitals!

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