Whenever my friend April sees me (or anyone she loves), she grins, throws her arms open, cocks her head to the side and offers herself. No one is ever happier to see me: I am the most special person on earth. And despite my perfect specialness in that first moment (or any moment she listens to me), I know there are dozens of people she makes feel that same way. It's easy to forget how special April is because she is so damn busy making you feel special. So when I went to see her in the hospital today, where she lay intubated and small and sick, and instead of her usual spectacular greeting, I received just a squeeze of my hand and quiet tears, her eyes desperate, I worried.
Once they took the vent tube out, she was better: charming the staff, wanting to laugh a little, savoring her breaths. But then her blood pressure started dropping again, putting her back into the same cycle that had landed her in ICU in the first place. The rest of the day was up and down, and she withdrew to the quiet place we go when we are deeply tired and suffering.
So. Tomorrow! Tomorrow, I am aiming for something even a little more like my usual greeting. A smile, a hug, a bit of the special she reflects. We could all use some beautiful April weather.