When we stepped off the elevator first thing this morning, there he was ... leaning heavily on a very tall walker, tentatively shuffling along in his flimsy hospital gown and running shoes. Vertical 16 hours after surgery. Standing tall, sitting pretty and clutching the button for his morphine pump, his eyes showed the breadth and depth of his pain. But he swears that it is exactly what he expected.
He is a model patient; no complaints; just grit and determination. His roommate is also a retired teacher so there is no lapse in conversation between them, although I could see weariness setting in with the excessive chatter. His first day post op was a busy one with a plethora of medical therapies, mini milestones, visitors, pains and gains. Most importantly, he finally got his hair brushed and spruced up.
It is not easy to watch someone you love suffer. It is painful to witness vulnerability in one who is steadfast, solid, the rock of the family. But it is absolutely heartwarming to see hope and possibility abound once again and to envision him dancing at my daughter's wedding.
The road in front of him will get easier with each passing day and it won't be long before he is walking tall once again.