(Featured image is from the Seasons at Green Gables monthly planner by Anne Bielski)
Friday, I visited my friend in the hospital again.
This time I didn’t get lost
I didn’t get lost driving there this time, which was wonderful and that meant that I got there much earlier than I expected to.
We had a nice visit. She was much calmer than she was the last time I visited.
I gave her a framed picture of my favorite photo of us. We both look so pretty in this picture.
We took this photo a few years ago at a starbucks while we were on some mini adventure somewhere.
It was before my sleep disorder developed and I gained so much weight, and long before there was any sign that she would develop or was developing a brain tumor.
I don’t remember the city or town we were in. I do remember that we had a great day.
Back then we went on lots of mini adventures!
It seems like forever ago now.
Once my sleep disorder started, most of our adventures had to stop too.
I was just too tired for long drives and she had never learnt to drive.
When I showed her the framed photo, she smiled.
But not the big smile she used to have.
This tumor is robbing her of so much.
She has no real way of communicating anymore. The way you know that she’s upset or agitated is that she starts wiggling around a lot or/and starts itching and scratching.
The itching and scratching thing is new… and just like a yawn, it’s contagious, because then I start itching and scratching. Lol
As we sat in silence, I had the thought that if only we had both learned sign language, we could still communicate, but then I thought probably not. I do not think you can sign with only one hand.
But it’s funny how these thoughts come to you, isn’t it?
Her sweet mother
Since I was there early and planned to stay until visiting hours were over, I encouraged her mother to take the opportunity to leave early.
She’s been there every single day, for the entirety of visiting hours, since this started two years ago and she must be physically and mentally exhausted.
My friend got agitated when her mother left. She becomes very sad everytime a visitor leaves and I certainly do not blame her for that!
She must be terrified. I think if I was her, I would be terrified.
We sit in silence
Since we sit in silence so often, Jason suggested that I read to her.
Years ago, when another friend had been in the hospital a long time due to a surgery, I read Treasure Island to her.
I chose Treasure Island for that friend because we loved going to the beach together.
But Treasure Island wasn’t the right novel for this friendship and then I realized the perfect novel!
Of course! Why hadn’t I thought of it immediately?!
Anne of Green Gables, by L M Montgomery!
It may sound funny but Anne of Green Gables is what we bonded over when we first met!
I have no recollection of how we got on the subject but somehow the Canadian Television series of Anne of Green Gables came up and we knew immediately that we were “kindred spirits”!
In fact, it wasn’t long until she was calling me Anne Shirley or Anne girl and I was calling her Diana Barry or Diana dear, just as the characters do in the series.
It became our inside joke
As a joke, we began greeting each other in these names, sending text messages to each other in these names, writing letters to each other in these names and even sending cards to each other in these names! Lol
It would confuse the people around us and we would just laugh.
When I was finally able to see her, after so long in the hospital, I had thought that I would greet her even there as Diana Dear but once there and seeing her condition, it just did not seem appropriate.
Plus, I wouldn’t want a nurse or doctor to hear me calling her Diana and think that I didn’t actually know who I am visiting!
I had been reading to her just before her mother left and then when her mother said goodbye to her, she got so agitated.
She began wiggling and scratching. I couldn’t calm her by talking to her, and then I thought, maybe I could distract her. So, I said, “Come on! Let’s read some more” and I just started reading again.
It worked! My reading calmed her. She stopped wiggling and scratching and just listened.
She became very calm. She would listen calmly. Sometimes closing her eyes.
We got to chapter 11 before visiting hours ended.
We probably should have gotten much farther than that but reading in a mask seemed to make me very thirsty, so I would take breaks and a swallow of water.
Also, I was trying to read very smoothly and evenly, in a soothing manner.
You see, in my head, I read perfectly but when I read out loud, I get extremely nervous and stumble over even the easiest words.
So, actually, I was trying to calm both of us.
And by keeping my reading very smooth and even – you might say, deliberate – I was able to stay calm and not stumble over words.
Anne of Green Gables, by L M Montgomery!
Of course, I knew that Anne Shirley liked to talk… and imagine things
but MY GOODNESS, SO MANY WORDS!
You don’t realize how many words it is until you actually try to be her! Lol
Except for the non-stop talking, I do have many things in common with Anne Shirley.
But there are also many ways that growing up, I wished I could be like her.
She was so fearless, something I never was.
I was a very shy, quiet child.
I could only dream of being bold and fearless!