Good writing, with a strong point and with life oozing out.

Misplaced Aggression

June 2, 2006

Dear Security Guard:

Thanks for asking me to see my ID. I really appreciate your concern for the safety of the patients at the hospital. However—and, as I mentioned—I’m generally waived by the desk because of my cool blue armband. In fact, I’ve been sent on down the hall each and every day for the past 23 days because of my lovely blue armband.

You see, this tattered piece of plastic means that I have a child who is in one of the ICU’s. It’s kind of a reverse status symbol, if you follow my irony. It means that, of all the crap I gots to worry about, I generally don’t need to worry about showing my stupid driver’s license and signing your high-tech registry (which I’m sure does a lot to deter terrorists).

But I understand that you’ve got a uniform, and so I need to comply with your misunderstanding. Sorry for throwing my little nametag into the trash.

Dear PICU Families:

I’m quite certain you can read. You, like me, see the sign that asks us to call back to the unit to request admission. That’s me, standing there waiting for someone to pick up the phone so that I can go see my son (again). I know you think you’re really cool when you wait by the door and then dash in when it opens, but I think all of us would be better off if you’d just wait your turn.

Oh, and while we’re talking about signs, let me point out another one to you. You may have missed it in your all-fired rush to get inside. It’s close to each of the sinks you walk by: “All Visitors Must Wash Hands Before Entering PICU”. It means that everyone needs to wash their hands before they go to see their loved one. Yes, even if you washed your hands last Thursday, and yes, even if you last pit-stop was only for #1, and yes, even if you really, really want to see someone, right now. And even if you don’t give a hot crap if anyone or everyone inside gets sick. Wash your hands, dear heart. And please keep them and your runny nose out of my child’s bed. Thanks.

Dear Guy in The Waiting Room:

I really appreciate your concern, and homily (last night, and tonight). And, especially, your repeated admonition to “just pray”. I guess it’s true that, as you suggest, “it’s the only way that everything’s gonna be alright.” But I’m not sure that the converse is true.

So please take your half-baked, prosperity-based, goody-for-me, ill-considered, un-requested theology and go somewhere else. And when you get home tonight, please take your giant Bible and tear out the book of Job. It’s in the middle, right before the Psalms. Which you should also remove.

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10 Responses to “Misplaced Aggression”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh, Mike, I’m so sorry people are so rude and misinformed and insensitive and yucky (and lack basic hygiene when it comes to germs and babies in an ICU!). Just keep telling us and we’ll keep praying that you are all protected from everything (from germs to jerks).


  2. Mike Croghan says:

    Man, you can’t be blamed for a little aggression. These things frost my cupcakes too, especially the last one. Gettin’ a bit sick of that kind of theology, from Christians at least. Strangely, although I’ve known many Hindus and Buddhists – who would have a good reason for believing that way since karma is actually an article of their faiths, unlike Christianity – I’ve never known any of them to be jerks about it. Unlike Christians.

    Keeping on praying for you and everyone around you.

  3. Rebecca says:

    Sometimes ‘Dear Miscellaneous Person’ letters are the best way to deal. Sorry about the frustrations. Glad to see your sense of humor is still around for the sarcastic and cathartic vent. :)

  4. sonja says:

    I’m so sorry, Mike. I wish we could take some of this pain from you.

  5. P3T3RK3Y5 says:

    it’s good to know what’s on your heart and mind

  6. Liz says:


    I’m so sorry! Sometimes people just suck. It’s the absolute worst when two well intentioned people clash because of stress or other life events and they just happen to intersect at the wrong place and time. I will pray that your path is paved with more cymbals and less noisy gongs. In the mean time, vent away… we’re here to help lighten the load as much as we can.

    (((Hugs to you and Stacy)))

  7. Michael says:

    You need to learn to channel these feelings into an appropriate conduit.

    May I suggest, hatred for the team of the professional sport your choice whose home stadium is the second closest to your house of all teams in that sport.

  8. kate says:

    God bless you, Mike!
    And many prayers for protection for Will from germs. And for grace, mercy and peace from the people around you. And for fairness. And a basic understanding by these parties about when the rules matter, and when they don’t.
    Love you guys.

  9. Lisa and crew says:

    Mike and Stacy,
    Emotional ups-and-downs…Never feel it till you’re strapped in and can’t get out of the car…Life…You know you’re living when you can still SCREAM!! :) Love you two, hang in there…it can’t be easy when you are having to go back and forth…Another day–what will it bring? All our love from all of us- Lisa, Tutu, Kate and Connie…

  10. WMS says:

    damn that was just beautiful. If you hadn’t said it I would have… ** tears**

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