… the last 24 hours

We never had that cup of coffee …

We were 24 hours away from surgery and I found myself sitting in the very room we would say what could be our last goodbye to Elizabeth.  The three of us were there.  There was small talk, we laughed every now and then and did the very best we could.  Nurses and doctors would come, papers signed that would give them permission to take Elizabeth in the morning with no promise of us ever having her back.  Over the next several hours we would make our way through the hospital as Elizabeth would meet with her team of doctors each one checking the box that would clear her for surgery.  She was always a step behind me, I was so aware of her presence.  I could have at any minute said you can’t be here, even as his wife you have no say in this and you can’t be in these rooms with us.  I never did though.  This day was not about her as much as she wanted to be a part of it, it would not become about her.

Our families had all gathered in Little Rock that day although we would not spend the evening together.  Josh’s family would take Caroline and Alex, Elizabeth would stay with mine.  We found ourselves passing each other in the lobby or sitting pool side watching Caroline and Alex swim.  We would eat dinner separately and as the evening began to draw to an end I knew that Josh would need some time with Elizabeth.  When he opened the door of his hotel room I knew he was struggling but didn’t acknowledge it or offer any comfort, that was no longer my role.  I took Caroline and Alex, their innocence of what was happening was refreshing and very much needed.   We took a walk, made a Starbucks run and visited in our hotel room.  I wanted time to stand still, I wanted this very moment to freeze.

Because time never stops I had to say goodnight to these two cuties and off we went to make our trade.  Josh and I agreed to meet in the lobby at 4:00 the next morning.  We had to be at the hospital at 5am.  We headed down for our nighttime routine and to say goodnight to Mimi and Papa.  Elizabeth would need one more feeding, some medications to prepare her for tomorrow.  This smile on her face was all we would need …

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