OOPS! Missed yesterday, so I’ll post two pages today.
“Mom, you heard what Dr. Thompson said. Daddy may not make it and if he does, he may never awaken from the coma. Oh, God.” She burst into tears and Diana held her, rocking gently.
“He will make it and we’ll face the rest if it comes. Your father always said Paul was the finest surgeon in the country and county was fortunate to have him, remember?”
Lily pushed back and wiped her eyes. Reaching for a Kleenex from the box on the table, she blew her nose. “Yes, Daddy did say that, didn’t he? I’m sorry, Mom, I wanted to be strong for you.”
“And you have been. I don’t know how I’d have made it without you, my courageous girl.” Diana squeezed her daughter’s hand.
“Mom, I…” Her words were cut short by a rush of people coming in the ER door. Russell, Sarah, and Robbie hurried to them. Robbie buried his face against his mom’s side. Diana held him close.
Lily stood and put her arm around her sister, leading her and Russell to the other side of the small lounge. “Daddy’s in surgery. He’s hurt bad, Sarah.”
Russell pulled his wife against his side. “Is Paul with him?”
“Yes, but he wasn’t optimistic.”
“Paul is never optimistic. Tell us what he said.” His arm tightened around his wife.
Lily looked at Sarah’s pale face and hesitated. “I’m okay, Lily. Please tell us everything.”
Lily told them all Dr. Thompson had said and then they went to Diana and settled down to wait. “Mom, Daddy is going to be fine.”
“Of course he is.” Russell echoed his wife’s words. “I’m going to go find some coffee for everyone. It will be a while before we hear anything.” He started off down the hall. Robbie bounded up and followed. Russell stopped to wait and rustled the boy’s hair before they continued.
“Oh!” Diana stood, remembering the dinner cooking on the stove at home. “The turkey, there could be a fire. Someone will have to go back.”
“It’s all right, Mom. Russell took care of all that before we left.”
Diana smiled and sat back down. “Your husband’s a good man. So steady.”
Russell returned and passed around the coffee. Diana sat hers on the little table—afraid she’d never get it down. The lump in her throat had been steadily growing. “Robbie, come here.” She pulled him down on her lap and snuggled him close. It was such a comfort to hold his firm little body against her. Under normal circumstances, he’d never have allowed such a thing. At ten, he felt he was much too old for lap sitting.
It was over five hours later before Dr. Thompson returned. They all rose as he entered the waiting area. “Warren is in ICU. The surgery went well. You can move up to the ICU waiting room.” He turned to leave and Diana grabbed his arm.
“Wait, Paul. He’s okay, then?”
“I’ll know more later. It’s too soon to tell, but, Diana, he came through the surgery fine. He’s alive and in stable condition. At this point, that’s a very good sign.”
“Thank you. I want to see him.”
“Go up to the ICU lounge, Diana. I’ll come and get you in a little while. You can see him, but only for moment and only you.” He nodded to the rest of the family and walked away.
They all gathered their coats and went to the elevator. No one said anything, knowing it was too soon for rejoicing, but silently grateful the surgery was over and Warren alive.
Copyright ©Elizabeth Melton Parsons