Thursday, February 16, 2012

•scared silly•

I've been floundering around, looking for send-off words for a friend who's heading into a major surgery.  Dork phrases are all that come to mind.  Atta girl!  Go get 'em!  You knock those surgeons dead!  I actually referred to my friend's spouse as support-crew team-leader, and yes, now I'd like to stick a pencil in my eye.  When there really are no appropriate words, apparently, I will still be out there, clawing and reaching for something to say.

This time, I know it's going to work out brilliantly.  The surgery has been perfected; it will be more than fine.  Easy, breezy, beautiful, down-hill skiing.  This friend is particularly good at celebrating life, and letting the small stuff slide.  Not that a giant operation is small stuff.  But she's well-equipped to handle all this, and more.  It's funny, how someone else's graceful command of a situation can prepare you.  In ways you might not even understand right away.

Knowing her has not only been a hilarious good time, it's been an education.  In mothering, in writing, in listening, in joy.  I'm grateful for her, grateful to her, and looking forward to more.  And feeling lucky.  When my gurney comes, she'll be right there in my ear, I know it.  Slinging odd metaphors and gallows humor, for sure.



  1. When words fail the sentiment gets the message across, and you are very good at combining them both. I'm sure she knows that you, and the rest of us who care about her, are sending her good vibes in our own ways.

  2. What he said! I've been on both sides of that difficult situation, Lis, and I assure you that your being there and saying things --- good things, dumb things, wildly inappropriate things (although it's nice if those are followed by acknowledgment that THAT was the wrong thing to say) -- is what is important. You are there, and I'm sure she is glad you are there.
    That said -- some hospital tips. Trashy magazines of whatever brand friend likes best. Something decadent (lip balm, yummy drinks, comfy pajamas -- again, as befits this friend). A willingness to just sit in the room with friend and laugh at the various ridiculous things associated with it. Comfort, often in the form of high-protein food or providing the space for him to spend ten minutes alone, for the husband. And laundry/bathroom cleaning/child or pet care at their house, because everyone else brings casseroles.
    And finally, words that my mother uses -- "people you don't even know are thinking about you and sending you good luck"

    1. Wow, thanks for the great advice, Janet. I can already hear S. laughing out loud--because that is what she will do when I bring her all of your above suggestions (of course she's reading this). Do you have other prescriptions for special times? There should be a book on how to be thoughtful, that details visiting someone in recovery, someone who's just lost someone, someone who's a new parent, or a new parent for the second time... etc. What to bring, what to say, and what not to bring/say.

  3. Lis, Hope your friend does great. It's always hard to know the best thing to say when life is at stake. Just being there and saying anything at all is certainly a boost. It's saying nothing that's inexcusable.