Tuesday, January 4, 2011
If I had Wings
So I generally eat healthy, not maniacally so but I would say better than average. Sitting in a hospital bed made me start eating things that were less than nourishing. People were bringing these great and greasy tacos, fresh baked cookies, fries and all things that people would generally consider comfort foods. Shortly before the biopsy, I had a craving something I had not had in years, Hooters Chicken Wings. My friend Todd said he would bring some that we could eat after the biopsy, his quiet reassurance that there was nothing to worry about, and…that was one of my first thoughts after waking up. And trust me I ate them all up.
Apparently, some things happened shortly after I woke up that I don’t really recall. My wife and daughter came in to see me and my 3 year old daughter was disappointed that all they could see was the scar and not actually my brain. We had shown her the MRI and explained to her that “daddy had a booboo in his left temporal lobe.” We had explained to her they were going to be taking a piece of daddy’s brain and she expected to come in and be able to see right into my skull. I laughed when I heard that story and knew that if all of this resulted in Kiana turning into a neurosurgeon, it’d totally be worth it.
A series of friends came to see me that night: my neighbor, some relatives, a coworker, some of the ultimate crowd. Interestingly enough, I would not remember any of them eventually until someone talked to me and then I would then remember the visits and conversations. The jokes continued immediately with my friends saying I shouldn’t even have to worry about recovery since it was an organ that I never used. That was one of the things that I was actually very proud of my life during that hospital stay. Not just the number of people who came to visit me, there were plenty and it was encouraging. But during the time both during the hospital and after, there was a great variety of people Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, Republicans, Democrats. Some of them were passionate about their faiths and opinions, some ambivalent. I was glad that I had such a range of friends (this would end up creating some interesting stories which we’ll come back to). Several of them told me they were praying for me and more than a few actually prayed for me; others said they were sending positive vibes. The ones who worried me the most were the ones who said, “I don’t pray but I’m praying for you.” I responded with “Whoa! Don’t be asking strangers for big favors.”
These things started and have continued to be a touchstone, having supportive friends. Over the next few weeks, friends would come from out of town to just have a meal with me: Dallas, Houston. Some came from further out like California and Chicago and crashed at the house. I realized then that I wouldn’t wish this on anyone but that anyone who went through this should have this much support. Rather than be dragged down, it was a time I was soaring, because my friends, well they gave me wings.