There is a "Peanuts" cartoon that I remember from when I was a child (the olden days) that I always thought was very funny.
One of the gang had a new baby in the house, and all the kids - Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, etc. - are talking excitedly as they go to see it. As they pass Snoopy, they call out, "Hey, Snoopy! (whoever) just had a new baby and we're going to see it! You want to go?"
And Snoopy - being a dog - sits there and says, "No, I'll wait a few days until its eyes are open."
I am waiting for MG to open her eyes.
She came through her final (hopefully, prayerfully) trauma surgery today. The nurses have turned off the medicine that is keeping her paralyzed. They have strapped her arms down, just in case. While MG remains on the ventilator, she's starting to over-ride the vent; while it is giving her 12 breaths a minute, sometimes she's doing 14, which means two of those are on her own. That means she's waking up.
I know that "waking up" has various meanings. As heavily sedated as she is and will remain, there is a very good chance MG still won't be fully cognizant of where she is. Almost certainly I'm told she won't have any memory of what has happened. They expect it could be days before she fully comprehends where she is, much less why.
But the little gel moisturizers that kept her eyes closed while keeping them moist are gone, which means she could ....
SB left tonight in tears. I hope she doesn't mind me saying that. The Princess has to go back to school tomorrow. She wants desperately to be here as her Mama starts to come around. She is so much her mother's daughter.
The Heir flies out tomorrow to return to Charleston and The Citadel. He's more stoic, of course, but I know how hard it has been to sit here for the last few days, to come to grips with the realization of what happened, to sit through the surgeries and ups and downs of emotion, and then to be this close to an "awakening" and not be there.
I want, badly, to sit here all night. I know when the ventilator alarms go off, it means she's over-riding the vent even more. The nurses will rush in to check on her.
And maybe - just maybe - her eyes will open.
Oh, how I want the first thing she sees to be me.
On my 13th birthday, my parents gave me my first "real" football: The Duke. Anyone of my generation knows "The Duke'' was the football used by the NFL. It was stamped on the side, "The Duke." At the time, it sold for some enormous price of over $50 dollars - an outrageous expense that I now wonder how my parents, with three other kids who were in college, managed to afford.
I wanted to be the first to do everything with that ball: the first to hold it, to hike it, to throw the first pass, to catch the first pass, to carry it on its first run, to score its first touchdown, to be the first to spike it.
Obviously, some of those things are impossible to accomplish if you're going to accomplish the other. But I didn't want anyone else to ever be able to say they were the 'first' to do anything significant with that football, such was my love for that gift.
That's how I feel about MG. I want to be the first one she sees, to have the first hand she squeezes, the first one she wiggles her toes for.
I'm sitting here, holding her hand, gently stroking and squeezing, trying to get a response. I'm talking to her softly, reading, telling stories. The doctors and nurses have said all along to assume she can hear everything that is being said around her. If that was true then, surely its even more true now.
I pick up her hand. I play with her fingers. I watch them drop when I let them go and think I see some independent movement. But I can't be sure; in fact, I'm sure I don't really see it.
They say it will take hours. If they had done the surgery at 11 as scheduled, those hours would be gone by now.
They close down the trauma unit from 6-8 every morning and evening. Tonight, SB, Roecker, Grayson, and MG's brother Bill and I went down to Moe's to eat. (Thank you, Barbara, for the Moe's gift card!). We sat and talked and told stories about family and friends and laughed. It was so much fun.
I need to get some sleep. They tell me it could be morning before MG actually opens her eyes, that it takes a long time for the medicine to clear her system. Everyone tells me I need to take care of myself and go home and get a good night's sleep. I need to get my clothes from Tracy, who brought them back from Gulfport (thanks, Jay, for taking Tracy in and rounding up the landlord with the right key). I need to go by the police department and get an accident report (but thank you, Sergeant Herren, for stopping by again and bringing with him Grayson's wallet and driver's license, which The Young Prince had left in the car MG was driving).
I need to take a long walk. I miss my four mile walks through the Gulfport small craft harbor every night. I can tell I'm starting to feel rusty, starting to get comfortable with the inaction.
I want to see Bill and Cindy's son, "W" - his name is actually Walt, but Cindy is a staunch Democrat so we've determined to call him "W" after you-know-who. We're supposed to have breakfast in the morning before they leave town.
But what I really want is to be here when MG opens her eyes. I have all these random things in my mind, and today I thought about this quote from Audrey Hepburn: "The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides."
As frustrated as I was at the orthopods last night and today, it's OK now. I understand that the next surgery, on MG's pelvis, will be complicated. The doctor I spoke with last night wants another set of eyes and ideas with him, so he'd like to wait until Monday when his partner gets back into town. That's all he had to tell me. I'm OK with that. So now we're looking at the orthopedic stuff to start Monday, which gives MG's body a few more days to mend and rest and recover to be strong enough to take the next trauma.
I read to MG from a book of Puritan prayers, a book called "The Valley of Vision." MaryClaire loaned me her copy, then decided she'd better just buy me one in case I didn't give hers back. Smart woman.
Here is part of a prayer or devotion I read to MG, but really I read it for me:
"Lord God, I know that my sudden anger arises when things cross me,
and I desire to please only myself, not Christ.
There is in all wrongs and crosses a double cross -
that which crosses me,
and that which crosses thee;
In all good things there is somewhat that pleases me;
somewhat that pleases thee.
My sin is that my heart is pleased or troubled
as things please or trouble me
without my having a regard to Christ. ..."
I want to be here when MG opens her eyes.
But I realize I still need my own eyes to be open, too.