They were so patient. Their waiting began years ago, long before the big white ship pulled in to their port. They arrived by the thousands and continued waiting. I got to be out on the street several times throughout the day, talking with the line crew, and was always surprised at how quiet several thousand people can remain even through the heat of the afternoon. The only scuffles came when someone tried to jump the line… which was thankfully just a few and was settled quickly.
There were about 350 crewmembers working together, from all over the globe, along with another hundred and fifty day crew – all working alongside each other, collaborating and encouraging and hugging and helping. Dana Perino spoke in our community meeting on Thursday night and that was one thing she really noticed about us – teamwork. Surgeons consulting other surgeons, nurses with each other and doctors and caregivers, all working together to come to the best possible conclusion for that particular patient – which was not always a yes. Sometimes the risks simply outweighed the potential benefits and even though it meant saying no, they said it anyway, with compassion and love and patience and grace.
All of us were given a yellow card with our name on it. As we entered the site we were to give our cards to the gate team; it was a quick way for the site commander to know exactly how many crew we had at any given time and to know exactly who was in the compound should any trouble happen. Though it is no longer needed I won’t throw it away – I’m keeping it close to me as a reminder. A reminder to pray. Every time I see it when I flash my own ship badge at security or the port gate, I will remember to pray for every single person we came in contact with that day – whether we said yes or no or we’re not sure or not yet – every one of them needs our prayers.
I don’t long for my own children the way many single 30-somethings do; I love kids but don’t have a deep need or desire for my own. Every so often I have encounters or experiences that make me appreciate that in a deep way- Screening day was one of those. It was hard for me to say no, but it wasn’t the visceral tearing away of my heart and flesh the way Ali describes. I think that moms can relate in a way that I simply can’t; I don’t know what it is like to have my heart walking around outside my body, and beyond that to see my child hurting or broken. Honestly, I don’t think I could do this if I did.
Thank you for being a part of their stories. Until next time - Krissy