Wednesday, March 13, 2013
A day at St. Vincent
After they took you in, Jim Minor and I went to the cafeteria. Everyone was watching the television. White smoke billowed from the Sistene Chapel. There is a new pope. A Jesuit, an Argentino, and the first-ever American.
Brother Calee came by. We talked about the trip to China, then he was off to work. I told Good Mister Minor that he should go, too. But he said he thought it was important for someone to be here with me.
The actual thing, the procedure, was over quickly. Just a couple hours. When Doctor D came out, Jim gave me a nudge because I'd fallen asleep on the hard sofa by the window that overlooks the courtyard. I felt a gentle hand on my shoulder and Jim said "Dade," and I sat up and there was the doctor.
"It went very well," he said. "She did great." His smile transformed me to a fool and a worrywart.
They took me back and I saw you, only just emerging from the anesthetic depths. The weight of mountains hung on your eyelids.
Mme. Smith and Acetou came later and I went back to the waiting room so I could make calls and send texts to the army of people who love you.
Later still, the nurse brought a tuna sandwich and barley soup. There were so many wires on your fingers and tubes in your wrists that it was easiest for me to spoon it to you. I fed you and you told me about your dream in the nether. You dreamed you were with your father and that he told you not to worry, that he had you, that you were safe. And you said you were very happy.
And I was happy, too. Happy and relieved. Like a ship-wrecked sailor pulled into a life raft. A sailor who'd spent hours in an endless sea. Hours treading in the deep, deep water.