Following our exquisite dinner out Friday night, we were unsure how the weekend would unfold. (As an aside, the restaurant location was a surprise until we headed out, whereupon J. determined she could drive us there faster if she knew where it was.) It is a long weekend for us, the Alberta Government’s attempt to break up our unrelenting winter by naming today’s holiday Family Day. We don’t really deserve the extra day this year given our uncharacteristically warm and sunny weather of late, but don’t tell the government that.
Thank badness, something came our way to pass the time. We were thrown into an improvisational play, but for the first time, J. and I have had supporting rather than central roles.
So now, my apologies if your heart skipped a beat with that post title; I was not the one in the hospital, our dear friend was and still is. Emergency surgery led to a brief ICU admission, including intubation and sedation. Since his wife was busy caring for him at the hospital, J. and I jumped into action.
These friends have been there many a time when we’ve needed them in similar circumstances, once even rushing back from their cottage four hours away to take in Peanut Butter, who is no longer with us, and Jelly while J. remained by my bedside. We knew our dogs were being well cared for. In fact, we often heard that they were racing up and over the living room couches. (Should we have paid for the new couches they coincidentally purchased just a few years later?) In addition to the dog care, J. often arrived home to thoughtful gifts to distract her from her worry.
We have some experience at receiving support and knowing what would be helpful given our wide-ranging experience with hospital crises. Over the past few days, we have kept their dog, Jelly’s bestie, well walked and provided a few purchased meals–wife must keep healthy and strong while husband recuperates–but beyond that, we have hopefully provided limited support via video of the dogs playing happily and off leashing in the house, as they are wont to do when they get together.
But we have not visited our friend in hospital, since you know how I feel about hospital visitors. I can’t assume our friend would feel the same way, but I’d spend too much time fretting about whether I was exhausting him to be good company anyhow. People in hospital need to focus on healing so they can get home, and hospitals are unfortunately not ideal places to do those things. Also, in case you didn’t know, they are full of SICK people and I can’t risk getting sick, nor can J. because she could then infect me. I know, somehow I’ve made it all about me again.
We wish our friend well and hope he will be discharged from hospital very soon, yet he’s provided a perfect opportunity for us to celebrate our adopted local family. J. and I are both far from home, so we have developed our family of friends for times like these. And it feels good to be in the supportive role this time. Hopefully we’ve done a half-decent job, although I doubt we’ll be up for any Oscars.