I asked her if she was ok, and she said, "It's hard." Her eyes focused on the window. I nodded sympathetically.
The older gentleman with his eyes closed in the bed had been diagnosed with terminal cancer a few weeks earlier. In the hospital for a related procedure, I was the nurse assigned to him for the evening. His wife and I had just finished getting him settled.
She turned to me. "Is it a boy or a girl?"
"A boy." Well into my second trimester, my hospital scrubs could not disguise my bulging belly.
"We have three sons," she said. "Of course, they're grown now..." Her voice trailed off.
Softly, I said the words I read in her face. "It goes by quickly."
I walked out of that room holding my stomach. As an experienced ICU nurse, I have seen a good share of tragedy, grief, and death. In my memory, much of it is reduced to a blur of CPR and tears. But this one moment never left me.
At the time, my husband's uncle had been diagnosed with cancer and my grandfather was undergoing aggressive experimental treatment for the same. The uncle has since passed, shortly after his 49th birthday. My grandfather is in remission.
As an expecting parent and now as a new parent, I frequently hear, "Enjoy them while they're little!" "All you have to do is blink and they'll be grown." "It goes by so fast!" God's word also reminds me that I'm not promised tomorrow.
But standing in that hospital room, hearing a woman talk about her grown sons as she held her dying husband's hand, brought it home for me.
Snuggling my little boy in his first week of life
Today is precious.
This post is linked to Words of Wisdom Wednesday at Trugars and Finer Things Friday at Amy's Finer Things..