St Vincent’s Hospital (4) — Morning of the operation thoughts

They woke me early so I could have a piece of gluten free toast and jam, and a cup of black coffee. Nothing much to do but wait for the operation, which is number two on the afternoon schedule. I suppose they’ll take me down early; the aenesthetist has her work to do first. I have been through this before; involves a lot of waiting.

I have chosen a really good book on my iPad to keep me entertained during the morning — A Talent for War by Jack McDevitt.  I have read all his books but don’t remember this one. That’s one thing that is good about having a bad memory — I can read books a second time and have only the vaguest familiarity about the plot. This one started off about 11000 years in the future and is about searching for the truth about a man who history has recorded as a coward  in war. Seems I might have read it but McDevitt is so good I’ll enjoy it regardless.

Father Brendan Purcell, my Irish friend who is a Philosophical Anthropologist is saying a Mass for me this morning. My mountain climbing team is praying for me. I’m as ready as I can be.

“You never really know where you are going to come out.”

McDevitt wrote that sentence about the uncertainty of space-warp travel in a distant imaginary future. It’s what it feels like when you waiting for an operation. They ask you to count backward from 100 and then you wake up in the recovery room — but of course you might wake up in eternity. I once began writing a short story about a man who woke up after his operation and found himself all alone, not only in the hospital but on the entire planet. He was a problem-solver like me and tried to figure out ways to verify that he was alone, and what this shocking new reality meant. I never finished writing the story.

It’s actually not possible to imagine what it would be like to ‘wake up’ in eternity. “Eye  not seen what God has prepared for us.” All we know is that God loves us and has prepared something wonderful for us. C.S. Lewis wrote about this in The Great Divorce. So, as I wait for my operation, it’s in God’s hands “where I’m going to come out.” I hope I’m communicating a sense of hope and peace to all my family and friends.


One Reply to “St Vincent’s Hospital (4) — Morning of the operation thoughts”

  1. Dear Jim
    I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughts re your time in St V’s and look forward to a conversation once your up and about. Thinking of you and wishing you well.
    Love, Helen

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