Going Home (2/20/20)
Death. That’s how I would describe how Rhonda looked immediately after her breast cancer surgery. I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting…but certainly not that. Prior to the shock of seeing my wife in such a sad state, a hospital liaison had ushered me past several “rooms” divided only by long white curtains. The representative had also informed me, on the way to meet my missus, that she’d already be dressed and ready to go home. With a hesitant smile in tow, I slowly stepped into the appointed room. I intentionally entered the makeshift room in a gingerly fashion, as if playing a game of hide-and-go-seek, in order to playfully welcome my lovely wife back from unconsciousness. But she wasn’t there.
However, soon thereafter I spied the missus in a wheel-chair being pushed toward me. I mustered up another mischievous grin upon my worried mug, but Rhonda wasn’t having any of it. With a glum expression on her face, she simply shook her head from side to side. My faint smile dissipated as I attempted to decipher what my wife’s no actually meant. I had only a quick moment to contemplate because the attending nurse, even though seemingly compassionate, appeared all too eager to send us on our way. Post-Op instructions, an ice pack, and a barf bag were Rhonda’s parting gifts.
Before I knew it, I was driving home with “death” riding shotgun. I had never driven those familiar streets that slow before – hardly ever reaching the posted speed limit throughout the duration of the trip. But then I had never been so aware of the precious cargo I had onboard either until that exact moment in time. This drive home was similar to when we brought our newborn home from the hospital decades ago. In both instances, I found myself wondering, “What the hell, now?”