Last two nights, rain fell steadily, with random rumbles of thunder
and flashes of lightning, while I slept fitfully, sometimes reaching out
for the place he usually sleeps, only to find my eyeglasses, a book,
a thin pillow, the absence of him, remembering uneasily he is alone
in the hospital machinery, with ever changing faces and rules he forgets.
After the first week, after his surgery was postponed several times,
after I realized I could only do so much, could not change the cracked
carbureutor of a crazy place anymore than I can change his daughters'
lack of understanding, I slept so well, even my dreams were simple.
As I met other families, talked with staff, and tried to connect with
my confused husband, I realized nothing there was definite except death
and a few people who really love their jobs, in particular a janitor
from Columbia who has worked at the hospital 27 years, wakes every morning
excited to bring smiles as she mops and cleans. She showed our sons and me
pictures of the people in her life who are dying, her sister, her father.
As medical transport arrived for my husband to go to a skilled sub-acute
rehab facility, this lady with her mop charmed and flirted with my husband,
both sons, both transport EMTs, just as the alarmed surgeon arrived, worried
because "usually a group of people outside a room is not a good thing".
I hugged her and thanked her, said she was doing the work of an angel.
Her response, "We all will die, but is good to love, to bring smiles to faces;
sometimes I must also do the cha-cha," with a glint in her gorgeous dark eyes.
Our sons helped me, just by being there, helped their Dad who wanted to come home
three days after gall bladder removal, somewhat understand that he needs to
get stronger first. And bless the EMTs who said the same thing, even though
as we left him, he tried to come with us. And bless the staff, who had helped my mother,
while she was at the same facility.
Bless everyone who listens, who offers support, who reassures me. I cannot say
I feel "good", but I feel I've made choices in his best interest. Our youngest son wrote about "true
love" on Reddit, to deal with how he was feeling and received over 400 messages in less than one hour
of posting by total strangers. It's amazing to me when you share your story, the raw responses from
people all over the world, who open up and either share their story, wish you well, or offer prayers.
Blows my mind, in a good way.