So… family vacations. As my brother said, he couldn’t have planned it better if he’d tried.
Day 4 of our week my brother was not feeling well. And this is someone who never feels something to the point of concern. He forges ahead and gets through it.
We drove to a small emergency room not far from where his family and I were enjoying our annual beach week. After a ct-scan he was rushed to emergency at the larger hospital. Two a.m. he was put in a hospital room waiting for surgery.
Irony: They wake you about every half-hour through the night for something. As soon as daylight touches the edge of that windowsill they leave you alone.
So he dozed, on and off. I watched the shadows of medical people’s feet walking past his door. Waiting for those that would stop and take him to surgery. To healing.
Me: “Do you have any Bibles?”
Gift shop person: “No, sorry.”
Me: “Is there a chapel?”
Pink Lady: “I don’t know of one.”
Me: “Are there Bibles, anywhere?”
Pink Lady: “Not that I know of.
I remembered my Bible in the glove compartment in my car, reluctant to leave my brother should those shadows stop for him I ran outside to get it.
He kept dozing. Shadows kept walking. He woke.
Me: “Can I read you a psalm?’
Me: Psalm 91… basically assuring anyone frightened beyond their wits that God will keep you under His wings, under His feathers.
The shadow stopped. A strong, young man opened the door, asked my brother to give his name, birthdate. Correct patient. My brother heroically gets up out of the bed.
Orderly: “Uh, nope, not having you flashing people down in surgery. Get back in the bed.”
My brother: Laughter.
So he goes. I breathe a prayer to follow him, through pre-op, anesthesia, the cutting, post-op, recovery.
God heard me.
I walk down the hallway toward where the same strong, young man is bringing my brother back to his family, back to consciousness, back to life. I follow them to his room where his wife, daughter, my son are waiting.
Groggily my brother says, “Did he…” can’t finish.
Understanding, I respond: “Laparoscopy.”
Repeat: “Open cut?”
Me: “No. Laparoscopy.”
Brother: “Guy’s a genius.”
My brother is there, he can hear us, he responds, slowly as one coming out of deep sleep would. I joke that I have never in my life seen him inebriated. His wife, “Oh, he’s a happy drunk!”
My brother: “I drive better, too.”
We stay to visit as his nurses check his oxygen saturation which rises and falls like my emotions.
“I’m not going to code,” he says.
We laugh, but cautiously.
He needs sleep. We exit for the night hugging as best we can through tubes and wires promising to return in the morning.