Fourteen weeks ago I knew none of them….
WHAT HAPPENED with the puppy, the puppy the little girl was getting for Christmas, the one she asked for so long and the mother was against but finally relented and the husband was going to drive an hour to pick up when the time was right, when the puppy was old enough to leave its mother and Christmas was upon us?
This hits me as I brush my teeth. What if she’s not there today and I don’t find out? I’m not returning for a month. It’ll be like someone has taken the book I’m reading.
Quickly now. Coat, gloves, scarf, hat. The works. Out the door. 4:45 AM.
We’ve become fast friends, Wednesdays @ 4:45 and me. 🙂
But, climbing into the car, I wonder about the puppy and the other loose threads.
- What college will Sherri‘s son choose?
- And Bonnie‘s 16-year-old who still rolls her eyes? Where’s she headed? On Christmas, the girl looked around at her siblings and all the gifts that had been under the tree and said, “You know, Mom. We’re really rich.” The tide is turning there.
- And Suzanne, who spends her lunch writing essays for her night class?
- And Mary, the charge nurse, the gentle leader who took off her birthday and was elusive, not wanting to accept a lunch invitation to mark it?
- And what about Bob, widowed father of two boys who play a sport every season? He hopes not to get roped into coaching a rec team, but there he is, every game, present. Just as he is present for us. And cheerful! I have never seen anyone quite like him.
- And the one – I never learned her name – the one who was there our first week, mid-October, the one who’d almost given up hope an adoption would work out and then came the call, right there in the middle of her afternoon. A baby, coming! Off she went on famlly leave. I spotted her at the nurses’ station around Halloween, showing off the baby. How’s it going for her, the transition to motherhood?
In the beginning, they were just a sea of uniforms, in and out, starting IVs, asking questions, recording answers, explaining things, responding to beeping machines, seeing if there’s anything they can get for us, helping each other, making calls, chasing down details, calming first-timers, getting it all exactly right in the computer.
I have watched them.
They have that dual quality of all caregivers, of being both present and invisible, both at the same time, leaving their lives at home and coming to pay attention to us.
I have watched and been amazed.
But every sea is made up of individual drops, and in that team of easy-to-overlook marvels, are people and stories that we have come to care about, even as they are caring for us.
* * *
At 10:30 I hear her voice in the kitchen next door. I poke my head around the corner.
“What happened with the puppy? How’d it all go at Christmas?”
And just for the asking, I get the story….AND….added bonus, the puppy video on her phone.
Today is the first day the puppy is home alone, she says.
Guess I’ll have to wait until next month to hear how that went.