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I’ve gone through phases of life, as I’m sure most of you have. Sometimes I’ve been a social butterfly other times I’ve been a loner. Not in a “let’s go on a murderous rampage because I’m so mad at the world and have nothing to live for” kinda way. But more like I just want to hide from the world for a bit and find some peace.

Today I’m in solitude mode. I tend to get that way when I spend a lot of time at the hospital. It’s been a long week. Jenna’s had many ups and downs over the past nine days that she has been here.

I can’t imagine the thoughts going through her mind. I know she’s scared. I can see it in her eyes. I try to assure her that the staff is doing everything they can to help her get well. I’ve always made the assumption that she can understand what I’m talking about but I really don’t know. I get tiny glimpses of it. Yesterday as I was sitting by her bed holing her hand, Jackie called me. We visited for a bit and I noticed that Jenna was sleeping. I told Jackie that Jenna had fallen asleep so I would probably head home so she could get some rest. No sooner had the words come out of my mouth than I felt a squeeze on my hand. I looked over at Jenna and she was staring at me intently and squeezing my hand. I laughed and told Jackie. Jackie goes,  “I guess you won’t be heading home then.” Um. Nope. Not if Jenna has given me an indication in the only way she can that she wants me to stay. So I do know that she understands at last some things.

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This morning I sit by myself amidst a waiting room full of people. We all have one thing in common. We all have loved ones who are having surgery. We all deal with it a little differently. Some have large numbers of people hanging out and they’re laughing and joking with each other and it makes me smile. It reminds me of my own loud, obnoxious family. Others sit in smaller groups – two or three people. Others are like me and have their noses buried in their phones, with (I assume) the occasional glance at the boisterous family that’s taking up a good majority of the waiting room. It’s a way to pass time.

So here I sit. Watching the update board. Watching the people. Waiting for word that Jenna had made it through the surgery. Trying not to go over all the possible things that can go wrong with this fairly routine operation. Biding my time until I can kiss her forehead and tell her for the hundredth time this week that I love her.

Today it’s solitude mode. And I’m ok with that. In fact, I prefer it. Social butterfly mode can wait.

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