Monday, January 18, 2016

For All the Saints

Standing in the foyer

Just before the funeral

Waiting for my pallbearer instructions

When my friend, the daughter of the one who’s passed, comes over to chat

I nod to her and say, I hear we’ll be singing For All the Saints.  That’s one of my favorites

Really?  She says.  My dad picked it out, and we told him, ‘Dad, nobody knows that song!’

Then she says, Mike, come with me

So I go with her

Across the foyer to where her father is seated

And when we reach him, my friend says, Dad, Mike knows For All the Saints!

I smile and say, We sang it in my high school chorus

And he brightens … for just a second

And then we move back to the business of the day

After a moment of comfort

At the mention of an old hymn

***

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Surgery day


Cheryl in sweatpants and a comfortable top

Me in comfy clothes also

And a baseball cap … this is definitely a day for a baseball cap

The doctor comes in to talk about the thing that will be removed.  He describes it in great detail

And, in the hours leading up to surgery, a bunch of nurses file in and out as well

One of them—a practitioner who’s been shoved out of the way by someone who’s working on the IV—looks over at Cheryl and says, “How are you doing?”

“Pretty good,” Cheryl replies.  And she is doing pretty good, especially for someone who’s about to go under the knife

Then the practitioner looks at me and says, “How about you?  You doing okay?”

Me?  Well, I’m not doing so good

The color has drained from my face.  I know this, because the practitioner tells me so

And it can be blamed on the warmth of the room and the in-depth medical descriptions, but mostly it’s due to anxiety—plain and simple.  I’m worried about my wife

We’re not spring chickens anymore

You never know how these things are going to turn out

The negative tapes in my head are running wild

Even so, a couple of hours later, Cheryl emerges from surgery unscathed (except for a 2-inch incision on her leg)

And this mix of doctors and nurses and God and prayers … well, it carries us through the day

It lifts us up and over another hurdle in the journey

12/28/2015