03 September 2009


She's going to be fine, my friend, now minus a gall bladder and glad of it.

The attacks came a week apart, the first one unexpected and ferocious enough to warrant scheduling today's surgery, the second debilitating enough to require three days of hospitalization -- until today, when her husband brought her to University Hospital for outpatient surgery. Now comes the period of recovery, which I hope she and many others can honor.

It's been over a year and a half since I've waited with a family during surgery. Conversation comes and goes. Not small talk; serious conversation. The periods of silence are often long and, if we're able to endure it, can be profoundly companionable. And, the nicest things happen: The staff remarkably attentive and focused. Sunlight slanting through the blinds filling the room where we waited with diffused light. A friend arriving at mid-day with scrumptious, warm pastrami sandwiches that hit a hungry spot. A wan smile from the patient as she woke up, recognizing people who care so much for her standing by her bed.

I've loved being here today.

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