I knew what her feet would look like at her turning point. They were dry and neglected when she started treatment. There was a tiny bit of polish left at the tip of her toe, and it was probably left from the last time she felt a thread of motivation.
She smiled at me this morning. "I had the best frickin day yesterday," she had to tell me. She had so much to say. I knew more about her in 15 minutes than I had in 3 weeks. She had returned.
I placed the blood pressure cuff around her ankle and began to pull off her sock before ahe drifted off to sleep. We unveiled her toes like a new piece of art in the gallery. There they were, pretty polished red toes. She wanted to show them off. She wanted to show off her personality that had been hidden for so long.
I was so happy for her. I get chills every time. It never becomes routine for me. I can't wait to see them...the real "them."
Discussion topics in the OR are thick. We explore the meaning of life, religion, time & space, alternate realities, and our place in the world. I am constantly intrigued and I am always engaged...there is so much to wonder. It's the laughter, though, that I remember.
The only sure moments I have when I think about why I am spinning around on this planet are when I share utter joy with someone. The day can be filled with stressful tasks, disappointments or defeat, but a fleeting moment of happiness wipes it all away. A shred of pleasure can overcome a mountain sadness. This is how forgiveness can even exist.
I know that her sadness won't be wiped away. I know that her road ahead will be rugged. She knows what happy feels like again, and even if Mona Lisa smiles for a split second in a lifetime...it brings hope...and hope is priceless.