The terse ringing of the phone, followed by the apologetic voice of the nurse at the other end, nudged me to a befuddled wakefulness. I found myself grousing under my breath to some muted annoyance, knowing that the plans of the day have been brusquely thwarted by an all-too familiar event.
What I had mapped out as an easy, sunshiny, warm-as-a-pillow day turned into a mad rush to the hospital to join a grieving family at a matriarch’s deathbed. In a few minutes I was navigating through the swelling crowd of the hospital lobby. At the female ward, I stood witness to the tableau of a grief-stricken spouse feigning a valiant façade in the presence of the similarly devastated family members.