I met dad in the room with coffee and breakfast sandwiches. Mom was sleeping. He apparently had been there for a few hours already. Turns out he couldn’t really sleep either. I wasn’t really surprised. And he didn’t want to leave his bride of so many years alone.
He looked tired. And worried. Apparently, my mom had almost left all of us to go hang out with the Big J upstairs during the night. Honestly, I couldn’t blame her. She was tired. Her body was tired. A small part of me wanted to give her a big hug and say,
“Mom, it’s ok. You can go home. I know you will always be here.”
But, I didn’t. I was scared to tell her that. Part of her was still fighting to make it to Colorado, and walk me down the aisle, all while wearing her pretty green, lacy dress. It really was beautiful. And part of me was hopeful this surgery would help make that dream possible.
Right now, with the new morning and a new day ahead, that possibility looked good. Surgery day was here, and we were all buzzing with a sort of excitement and nervousness.
The nurses came in, said hello, and my brother and sister-in-law joined the room shortly after I had arrived. Blood was drawn, needles were poked, lines were added, and we felt like we were off to the races.
And, that’s where the hustle stopped. They moved my mom down to a pre-surgery area. “Yes, we are on our way!” I thought. Once down there, they continued to monitor her stats, and keep her as comfortable as possible. We were told that she would be headed to surgery fairly soon, and we would be rocking and rolling! An hour went by, then two, then three, and now it was lunch time. And our stomachs were stealing the show with grumbles so loud I think one of the nearby nurses told us we had plenty of time to go eat. Oh, great. No sign of the doctor, no sign of moving into surgery.
With that advice, we decided to take turns going upstairs to the cafeteria to eat. Honestly, the hospital food was impressive. They had some healthier options (wedding dress, people!), which I appreciated. But they also had a more creative take on the standard hospital jello and assorted desserts. Because you know, sometimes chocolate can be such a healer. I should mention at this time I had recently had mouth surgery to straighten out my gums and show more of my front teeth. My gums were still healing and I had missed my checkin appointment since I was in Houston. I welcomed that hospital jello because it was soft on my gums! I also didn’t “officially” have the all clear to eat just anything, so I was very, very careful consuming the crispy little gems of chicken nuggets from the Chick-fil-A counter!
We all hurried lunch to get back to my mom’s bedside. She was starting to get restless, we were starting to get restless, and there was no sign of any surgery up ahead whatsoever.
Jesse called, just as we were all back in the room. He checked in with mom and offered up some kind advice, support, and love. That guy always knows just what to say, and how to say it with a genuine meaning in his voice. We kept him on the phone as long as we could, but eventually the bowels of the hospital blocked the cell signal. But I could tell those few moments we had chatting with him brightened her up a bit, and brought some much needed warmth to a cold room.
Finally, a nurse came in and mentioned the doctor was tied up in a surgery, and he would be with us as soon as he could. So, more waiting. More yellowing. How is that possible? Did she drink MORE spray tan while I was at lunch? This is crazy, I thought. Please get her in to surgery, we don’t have time to waste!
I think it was around 3pm or later by the time they wheeled my mom back into surgery. We all moved to yet another lovely, sterile waiting room, with the world’s oldest tvs (isn’t this MDA? shouldn’t they have new tech?), playing the worst talk shows. How I longed for some ESPN or anything else. I spent my time checking in on my projects, updating my closest friends, and chatting with Jesse when possible. He was worried about mom. We had been in his mind ever since he got cut off. I love that he cared so much. He genuinely loved this woman he had only spent a little time with. Gosh dang, I picked a good one.
I let him know we were just waiting, in the waiting room, where people wait for hours on end…