Spending time in a hospital is nothing like Grey’s Anatomy. There is a certain stillness – a simple quiet – and a lots of just “being” throughout the day. On one hand it’s sad, coming to terms with the reality of what the future holds. On another hand, it’s hopeful. As much anxiety as every unfamiliar buzz and beep ignite, each tiny positive as small as a bite of apple sauce is just another glimmer of eternal optimism.
Hospitals used to make me uneasy but somehow right now it’s the only comforting place to be. The family is “circling the wagons” so-to-speak as we gather from our homes up and down the west coast to spend time, not knowing what is next for my grandfather.
There are so many people gathered in his room that we don’t all have places to sit and despite the threat of somber circumstance, the mood by some accounts is like it always is when we’re together.
Squeezed together in that little room we read, we email, some work. My Tutu (Hawaiian for “grandma”) teaches me Sudoku. My cousin teaches Tutu how to Skype on her iPad. Gene (my grandfather) makes jokes from his bed, asks for pecan pie, and even is in fact a bit crabby today (which means he’s feeling a bit better!). He smiles at his nurses and is still a true southern gentleman with all his manners and charm.
While we still have to think about what comes next to a certain extent and deal with the business of life, for now we exist as we always have as a family; laughing, loving, enjoying moments together whether in some exotic far-off locale or in the humble room of a hospital close to home.
my grandfather and I at my wedding. photo by James Moes.