I watched a grown man cry today. He had just reached the end. I had seen him at various stops at Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center, obviously having some sort of surgery. At the last stop, express something or other, I heard him say something about "stressful day" then he lost control and wept, with people all around. At that time, My Handsome Prince walked out of express something or other, and we left. That's what people do at Hopkins. What I wanted to do was touch the mans hand.
Just moments before, a young girl called out to me "Are you following us?" She and her husband had been running the same circuit, with CT scans, surgeon consultation, anesthesiology meetings, blood work, EKG,...We chatted a bit about our husbands upcoming surgeries, both having lung resections. She stated, "Well, this will be it." I didn't tell her, that no, this is not it. Even if it does not come back, there will be appointments. There will be tests. There will be waiting, with baited breath. There will be results. Always.
I sat next to a woman who came from Indiana, never having been in Baltimore, trying to find a place to stay, with a list of posh hotels, provided by Hopkins, not finding one she could afford. I told her to go outside the city limits into the county. I hope she found something. I heard a woman whisper to her husband "I'm okay." She had on a lovely skirt and I told her. She almost seemed giddy.
We heard nothing new and yet the news was worse this time around. Because of a previous lung resection, the pain will be worse, the risks will be worse, the hospital stay will be longer, the recovery longer. While this is not good news, there is good news. We are never alone. He is healthy. We have family. We have each other. We have friends. We have an absolutely wonderful trip to Italy in a few days.
We also had hovering over us, the realization that his Grandmother may die while we are gone. We spoke of the life that his Grandparents, Mother and Aunt are leading now. Something needs to change and the decisions that need to be made. Another difficult situation.
Nothing is easy, yet we finished the long day with margaritas and Mexican food, hands held over the table, silent. We came home to a beautiful, happy daughter who spent a nice day with her Grandma, getting beautified. We came home to huge piles of laundry that had been washed, dried, and folded by the oldest. We spoke with my Mother, who is having her own health issues, which will be next. And we will take care of her. It is life's cycle.