My mom has been in ICU for over a week. It's awful, which will not surprise you. When I visited her on Saturday a remarkably cheerful man was standing outside of the ICU, "How are you?" he asked. "How is anyone here?, " I asked back before I could stop myself.
My friend, Christy, works as a PA in oncology, so Friday night I was texting her some questions. Turns out I was actually texting another friend, also named Christy who does not work in oncology, but was really trying to be helpful anyway. And she was - after I called, still searching for ICU answers and discovered this was not Oncology Christy (gad, what a moniker), Christy offered to bring some lunch and breakfast over for my kids. She offered this a few weeks ago. "No, no, we're okay" was my breezy answer. But my mom has been in the hospital for over a month now, and I've driven to her city to visit 4 our of 5 weekends. And this time I said, "Yes, thank you, that would be great." Because even though my husband is amazing, and I do mean AMAZING - he has dinner going every Sunday that I've driven home, I just flounder the rest of the week - running to the grocery store to pick up this and that, with no real plan.
Tonight Christy came over with bagels, cereal, milk and juice for breakfast, and lunch meat, cheese and bread for lunches, along with some fruit and cookies. And dinner. And a bottle of wine. I will confess to you that I had gone to the grocery store this morning before work to get some milk, and then I left it in the car, so clearly I'm still playing catch up.
When my mom has been able to talk, she has told me in awestuck tones that she has the nicest friends. She does - her friends have been visiting her in the hospital nonstop, bringing treats to share with the nurses and other visitors, or CD's for her to listen to, advocating loudly, and inviting my dad over for dinner. I have the nicest friends, too, constantly texting me about my mom, offering to bring food, or pick up my kids, praying, and grocery shopping. Like my mom, I am in awe of these friends.
It's like in the midst of all this mess, there is this certain beauty and inspiration.