I made a journey today that I can do with my eyes closed, my car on autopilot and one that I don’t have to even think about.
A drive that I did over and over, in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, for 84 days. A journey to bring me to see my husband, as he recovered at the hospital, and I tried to divide myself between two impossible choices.
Today Frank and I revisited North Memorial, and although we traveled there separately, we completed our visit together. He arrived first, and when I could not find him, and had to call his phone, he was of course in the therapy department visiting with great friends.
We decided to head to the rehab unit, and immediately met with some of the amazing team members that we were so lucky to meet while we spent many weeks there on 7 – familiar faces, with hugs and smiles, seeing those that made such a difference in our lives, and that made a huge impact on Frank’s recovery.
Those faces make us smiles, and although Frank has different levels of recall of these people than I do. We both hold special places in our hearts for this team.
Running out of time, we headed back towards the elevators. We went down a floor towards the trauma ICU. As we stepped into the elevator, I looked at Frank and stated “Now this makes me nervous.” “Why would it?” “Because we are headed to the TICU?” So? is his response.
He has no memory of this unit, but I sure do.
We turn the corner and the familiar waiting room is to my left. We peer in, looking for a family of a local paramedic that was injured over the weekend, and is now in the hospital with a brain injury. Not finding them, we step into the unit, and there it was, Frank’s room, open and waiting for another patient.
“I don’t remember being here.”
I am not surprised, since Frank’s memory does not start until a few weeks after we left this unit. But it is all too familiar to me. I waited to see what emotions would hit me – would it be fear? sadness? grief?
What came to me was wonder – and peace. I envisioned the room as it was, full of cards, posters and police shirts and patches all there to show support. The room was now sterile, like most hospital rooms. But through my eyes, it was full of love, support, and the thin blue line.
There was no fear there, no ghosts of the past. It was just a time of amazement for the support that was given, and the honor that was displayed by the First Responders here in MN. It was pride, and peace that met me there today.
We did not connect with the family that we came to visit. We left without giving them the bag of things that we thought might be helpful during this uncertain time they are facing. But we know that the staff there is amazing. We also know that they will get their gift. Who it was from was not important, but for them to know that there is a network of people that will bring support is what is important.
We pray for his healing, for his family, and that they might know that there is peace in that place. People that care throughout the state.