(photo - one of the big rocks from the side of my driveway on my mountain in the cove: hello rock - miss you).
Ah friends. It's warm here in Texas. I had to go buy flip flops and t-shirts from Target. Silly me forgot about the deeper south and how warm it can get even in February and early March. My snow boots I wore when I left my mountain cove sit untouched, of course!
Frank's surgery went well and he was quite strong. He was out of ICU by yesterday, only one day after the surgery on Thursday! He was talking and alert and feeling fine. Then, this morning he is having a little bit of a setback - but not from the heart, for the surgeon said his heart is fine. So, I am back to ask for a bit more of your wonderful thoughts and prayers and vibes and all those things you do so he can get over this "hump."
Hospitals are the strangest of cities. Long corridors where my mom and I took turns and turns and seems we went a different way each time. The hotel within the hospital was a relief - although we ended up at a door trying to put the room key in the slot and wondering why the slot had disappeared and Mom is holding the room key to where the slot is supposed to be and I'm standing there and she's standing there and suddenly I look around and then burst out in hysterical laughter - we are in the wrong section - this was doctor's offices (closed for the evening)....we both went into peals of exhausted laughter. Then went searching for where we were supposed to be. No matter how many times we went to ICU, we seemed to take the same wrong turn and ended up heading in the wrong direction.
There is much suffering in Hospital, and the faces of the loved ones reflect the suffering, the hope, the devastation, the surprise, the delight when a loved one recovers, the tears and sagging of faces when they may not. There are doctors and nurses and other staff hurrying through halls. There are smells that follow and settle on clothing and hair, constant reminders as you toss about trying to sleep - sleep that seems to come and go in short snatches. Dreams that wake you - real? no, only a dream, it's okay, go back to sleep.
I will say this: for anyone who has been or is a care-giver, I am in awe of you. I've only had short snatches of being a care-giver or one who stays at the hospital to make sure everything is okay--this time and when GMR's mother was gravely ill. One becomes unaware of time and space and reality. The hospital, or the home where the loved one is, becomes this bubble - one doesn't know what is happening out in The Real World. Everything becomes about doctors, nurses, techs, outflow inflow, breathing, ....life....death...somewhere in between...hope...recovery...loss...found. Shuffling the hallways between fast-moving staff--staff who avert their eyes, less one asks an unanswerable question--then there are the question answerers, soft-voiced and dewy-eyed. It may feel as if time bends and alters, and when you emerge for breath, maybe only a day has passed, or two, but it feels as if everyone on the outside has moved on far ahead! When you step outside, the air on your face feels fresh and alive - and you feel a bit guilty that you are walking strong on your legs to gulp in that fresh "un-hospital" air. I have never eaten so much fruit in such a short time! I became enamoured of the hosptial cafeteria's fruit and yogurt parfaits, and the fresh salads, and jello, and fruit and cheese trays - things that keep one feeling more alert and not heavy and tired. Then I found "mexican cornbread" last night - Oh! Heaven! With hot soup! Something hot! Oh! I ate with gusto, fast and furious and without restraint.
I have never been around a loved one when they have the hallucinations from surgery meds and anesthesia! Of course, my writer brain was twirling with thoughts, but my stepdaughter brain was taken aback....so real it seems to them!
Again, I thank you all for stopping by - I am trying to visit you a little at a time when time is there. I have but a minute here, but will be back soon. I hope this post makes sense, since I am typing it so fast!
And for those of you who said you will buy Tender Graces so more than four are sold *laughing* -- thank you! *big grin of relief here....laugh...* My gawd, but the time is coming so close for Tender Grace's release....I can't think of it, my stomach is flip flopping around! *pant pant*
(PS - I almost forgot - my biological mother called - I have an uncle dying from liver cancer. I feel so strange - knowing i have blood kin out there who is dying and I am not at his side. I've only met him a few times - but we are bound by blood--West Virginia Hillybilly blood. I feel saddened - I don't know what to think or feel about this. I am here with my Frank and my family - but there is another family out there with my blood, dying, and I'm not there...strange lives we lead sometimes, full of ironies and metaphors and ....all.)