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I write this from my hospital bed in Ft. Lauderdale. Today I face a 2-hour operation to reattach a piece of my left femur bone at the knee that broke off from a fall on Saturday.
        I will have two friends in the Waiting Room to get the report from the doctor when the operation is over. Because of COVID-19 my two friends can get no further than the Waiting Room. They will call and tell me the results later.
       My sincerest wish and deepest prayer as I get my IV’s and I am rolled down the halls to the Operating Room is that somehow the 327 million of my family members, friends and neighbors could spend the day, a week or even a year if necessary in the Waiting Room.
        For the Waiting Room is more sacred and hollowed a place than any cathedral, temple or mosque. Spending whatever time is necessary in the Waiting Room is the ONLY way America will come to its senses.
     In the Waiting Room I see the first-time father of a new baby girl holding and consoling another first-time father who learned his wife just had a miscarriage.
       In the Waiting Room I witness a police officer whose wife has just hours to live put his arms around and cry with a father wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt whose son was shot the night before.
        In the Waiting Room I overhear two grandmothers chat about their special secrets to baking a Thanksgiving apple pie. Though one will be spending Thanksgiving with her husband at a country club and the other will be alone at a shelter.
       In the Waiting Room I watch an MIT professor and a bagger from Publix help each other work a crossword puzzle together as they await news on their wives’ surgeries
       In the Waiting Room every person there is cheering for every other person and is pulling for them as much as for themselves A deep and all-encompassing ache permeates every person’s heart in the Waiting Room.
        In the Waiting Room there are no cliques, no tribes, no walls, no “us” and “them”.  Everyone is in this Waiting Room together.
        There are only first name brothers and sisters in the Waiting Room — not in generic terms, politically correct terms, philosophical terms, or even biblical terms — only flesh and blood people.
        Do come and make a retreat in the Waiting Room. Spend a day, a week, a month or as much time as you need to heal your emotional and spiritual wounds. Your life will never be the same again. Then and only then will America become the country we all want to live in.


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