When patients are elderly, it doesn't take long however, for you to pick out which of their family or friends will be in it for the long haul. They're the ones who help organize and situate the room, bring old photos to liven the place up with favorite music and flowers while having a permanent place beside their loved one. It's typically that person who rises above all others, in staying the course.
I never put much thought into who that might be one day when heaven forbid, I'm in that situation. It's hard to put myself, or my loved ones, for that matter, in that place.
Then, a couple months ago, I had minor surgery. It was no big deal, but it required that I had to lie in bed for a couple of days. (I know. Horrible, right?)
My husband was a champ in getting the kids bowls of cereal for dinner and I think he even had them brush their hair once or twice.
They all checked on me which was sweet, but our ten year old son, was the one who took it to the next level.
"What do you need, mom?" I heard him whisper through my pain killer druggy hazed state.
"I'm okay, baby. Thank you."
I'd squint through weary eyes to watch as he stayed by my side, holding my hand and leaving every so often to get a glass of water or crackers for me...because that's what the surgeon said to do.
For dinner, as my husband was rounding up the house, our son even brought a bowl of soup that he made. Granted, it was the worst tasting soup I'd ever had, while at the same time, it was the best.
The second day after surgery when I was officially going stir crazy and couldn't stay in our room for one more minute, that's when I realized.
"He's our son!"
My husband, checking the label on my prescription raised his brow. "Okay?"
I shook my head, "No, he's our son! Ethan's our son that will be there when we're old."
Nodding his head, I knew my husband had no idea what I meant, and I was too loopy at the time to explain.
Year after year and patient after patient however, I knew what it meant. I've seen the signs a hundred times before but I never thought they would apply to me.
As much as I hope it never has to again, it's nice to know there's a loving spirit inside our child that I hope will carry him through wherever life takes him. That's a priceless gift that will forever make my heart swell...no matter how good or bad the soup might be.
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