in these days of endless hours spent in the quiet cave of a hospital room, i am learning to appreciate the little moments. moments where the sun breaks thru the clouds, if only for a very brief time.
yesterday, we had such a break. one of the specialty docs came in to discuss his take on things and, for the first time since this journey began, we felt like someone had control of the reigns, like they need exactly where we were going and how to get there. we all breathed a sigh of relief.
my pops, who’d only been able to sleep for the three days prior, actually spent a good portion of the afternoon awake (about 5 hours). his awareness was high as he cracked jokes, his chuckles filling the air. it was enough to help me breathe a deep sigh of relief.
the relief was short-lived, however. he settled into sleep and, within the hour, his fever had spiked to 102 and it was hard not to feel like we had just taken a huge step backward.
a good friend (and angel in disguise) brought my sis and i homemade enchiladas for dinner. needing an escape from the disappointment, we headed to the visitor’s lounge and watched Jeopardy while we ate. my stepmom soon joined and eventually we found ourselves working on a puzzle for nearly 3 hours. in the 4 years since she joined our family, we’ve never had such a concentrated amount of time together. it was a beautiful little moment, putting that last piece in place, feeling a strange sense of accomplishment we desperately needed.
today i headed to the hospital after a long, 10-hour day at work. i had just enough time to grab a cup of soup and sit down with my sleeping papa bear. just as i was getting ready to pack up, the nurse had a visit, stirring him from sleep. he sat up, slowly munching on an apple, sipping on his cup of water. he was perky and present, looking for the remote for the first time in a couple days. we settled on a movie and watched it together, our humble little gathering of family, all beaming as we heard my dad’s chuckles and commentary on the lives of lions.
behind the privacy of the bathroom door, i let tears of gratitude fall as i listened to him chatter.
then, just as quickly as it had appeared, the liveliness was gone. he began asking after his pain meds and his movements were much less jovial. i left before he could slip back into the black oblivion of drug-induced sleep.
laughter shared across the room over nothing really, except the extreme shared relief of light at the end of the tunnel.
watching Family Guy for 1/2 an hour and forgetting why you’re watching it the visitor’s lounge of a hospital.
finding a vanilla pudding waiting on the top shelf in the cafeteria, complete with a vanilla wafer on top.
dad making a McNabb joke that, just weeks ago, which force a deep sigh from my lips, and cause a rolling of the eyes.
the little moments remind us that there is still something worth holding out for, something worth hoping in the best for. the little moments remind us just how deep our capacity for love really is, as that love drives us to search, like deep sea divers, for the rare pearls.