Being a visitor in the hospital can feel like you’re isolated from the whole world. Like the entire outside world has ceased to move forward and is stuck in time. In most of the waiting rooms there are no windows save a TV that lets you into the media world. You may not see the sunlight for several hours at a time and may find your body tense and uncomfortable in the vinyl chairs. No matter how many things you bring to do nothing will make you feel more relaxed and comfortable than close family.
I’ve been extremely blessed with a big, Christian family who supports one another no matter what is going on. If my fairly new fiance were to have an accident and find himself in the hospital for hours or even days, you can bet my boisterous family would be there, snacks and all, to support him in his recovery.
My pawpaw is a quiet man, to say the least. Mimi runs ship around here. That’s not a bad thing! She’s a strong, independent woman who knows what to do and when to do it. The thing about pawpaw is, he knows her. He loves her. That makes us love him despite his non-blood relation. He knows his grandchildren and loves us. My pawpaw takes the smallest kids and lets them climb on his legs and do flips. He sits with them and watches old western movies. He does puzzles and plays cards. He collects Marlboro packages from the side of the road and wins prizes to give to us. (Disclaimer: He doesn’t smoke.) My pawpaw is a beautiful man. My grandparents’ strong relationship made me think they were invincible. They’ve never been admitted to the hospital. They’re healthy as horses and work in the yard, on their house and run a full time (THRIVING!) RV park. They love family. We have dinner all together at least once a month. Cousins are best friends and we don’t have to have reunions because we’re with each other all the time. We’re growing up and moving away but nothing will ever separate that bond of family. Though some live in Tennessee, Houston or Dallas, I feel as though we all live under the same roof. No matter where we are, we’re family. And we love each other. No cold, sterile hospital could make us feel otherwise.