Thursday, April 12, 2012

Soon Enough...

[The porthole window in our room.]

At the front of Elisabeth's hospital room is a porthole window that faces the nurses station. I love it for its nautical charm as well as the peek it provides to the outside world. I see the hustle bustle of the hallway; nurses hurrying here and there and doctors making rounds. And of course I watch other patients come and go - you would not believe how many neighbors have come and gone next door during our two and half week stay in room E307.

In fact, mounted on the wall outside our room, just in perfect view of our porthole, is a computer screen. And on that screen is a layout of the floor showing all the rooms. Ones that are occupied are lit up in bright green while the vacant ones remain white. It has become a favorite pastime of mine to watch the screen throughout the day; see who has come, who has gone; to notice when things are really busy...and when there are only but a handful of other kids.

So yes, I enjoy our porthole and the connection it has given me to the outside world, but I have come to love inside our little room as well. And do I dare say that it feels rather homey? You see, I have made a point to create an atmosphere of healing within these four walls. I surround Elisabeth with her favorite toys and familiar blankets. And I have music going continuously - and not just any music, but calming, soothing music. Lullabies, mostly. And some classical guitar.

Yesterday a woman knocked and entered our room with a handful of towels to restock our linen drawer.

"I love coming in here," she said. "It's just so peaceful."

I thanked her and explained my intentions: to make sure that Elisabeth felt calm and safe. I haven't even put the TV on, not once, because I don't want a bunch of outside noise to clutter Elisabeth's head during this time.

I went on to tell her how my greatest goal in life is to ensure Elisabeth's comfort - I don't even put jeans on her - only comfortable knit leggings or loose flowy dresses.

"I knew from the beginning that she wouldn't be able to do a lot, so I decided that I would just focus on making her life as comfortable and happy as possible," I told the woman.

"And it looks like that makes you happy too," she said.

I smiled. She was right. Caring for Elisabeth, protecting her, making sure that her every need is met...those are the things that I live for. And oh, how happy it makes me when I can achieve that. But that is also what has made these past weeks so difficult. To know that there was something out of my reach, something that I couldn't control, something that I couldn't make better. That was hard. So, so hard.

But soon enough that will all be a distant memory. Soon enough we will be home. Soon enough she will be well again.

Soon enough.

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