I am back from my father-in-law’s surgery, which went wonderfully well, I am glad to say. Justin and I left Wednesday night and came back Friday to enjoy a visit from my mom and my sister and her children. My sister just bought a Honda Odyssey in anticipation of child #3 who is due to show up in January. Plus her old Explorer made every trip to the grocery store an adventure – will this be the one when it gives up the ghost? She never knew what to expect. So I am glad that she has a gently used reliable minivan, and now she too knows the joy of automatic doors that spring open to welcome her sweet little babies in when her hands are full. Those minivan engineers are geniuses, I tell you what.
I must admit, I had a twinge of minivan envy when I saw her 60/40 fold-down rear seat (we have the 100% fold-down model), and leather seats! heated, no less! a drop-down DVD player! Navigation system! BUT I love my old Odyssey; maybe it is not as stylish, but it has seen us through 176,000 miles of traveling safely, so what’s not to love?
When Justin’s dad was in the surgery, we read and walked around the waiting room and then read some more. It was a lot of waiting! Justin’s mom met a family whose loved one was getting a heart transplant; they just found out that morning there was a heart available, so there was a big rush to get to the hospital. Another young girl – college-age, I’d guess – was there with a steady stream of visitors; her mother had suffered a massive heart attack and was still unresponsive. Justin’s mom met a man who had hit his head while running. A lady taking her kids to school saw him lying on the sidewalk and got out and began to administer CPR. Someone else came along to help her, and then someone else came and took her kids to school for her. She rode with this man, whom she did not know, in the ambulance to the hospital, then came back to their neighborhood and started going door-to-door, describing the man and the situation until finally she found his wife, who didn’t even realize he had gone running. Can you imagine? I hope that if I ever am driving down the road and see a man lying on the sidewalk, I will be the one to get out and help him. What if she had kept going? He might be dead.
I did not like being in a hospital. I have always had a lot of respect for nurses and hospital caregivers, but I don’t think I could ever be one. I would probably freak out if there was an emergency, or start crying if someone started yelling at me. Nerves are very fragile when your loved one is in surgery and you feel so helpless, not knowing what is going on; a lot of people take their anxiety out on hospital staff. In our case, all is well, and we are thankful. Justin and I are going back to Atlanta to pick up Justin’s mom and dad and take them back home on Thursday. His dad won’t be able to drive quite yet, and his mom’s happy place is not behind the wheel of a car going 75 mph on an interstate. She doesn’t even pump her own gas. So Justin will drive their car and I’ll follow in the Silver Bullet (our minivan) and we’ll get them back to Alabama, where they belong.