My mother used to sing out “Home again, home again” sometimes when we arrived home after being away for what felt like “a while.” It could have been a week-long vacation, an overnight trip to my grandmother’s, or simply an extended series of errands. She sang it to the tune of “To Market” and it itself now signifies something “homey” for me.
If I didn’t say it myself this morning when we got home, then it rang in my head as wobbled into the house with bags of stuff, bunches of balloons, and a daughter with one arm fixed in a splinted ell. We were home, and it felt good.
Our stay in the hospital was incredibly pleasant by any standard I can imagine. The nursing and support staff at Women’s and Children’s have an amazing ability to appear when you need them. Our night nurses never disturbed us: they whisked in, turned on a bathroom light and cracked a door to be able to see, did what they needed, and then departed again. The day time nurses regularly checked on us, checking in with our daughter to make sure she was doing okay. The child specialist who was also reading the Warrior series, and who revealed to us that Erin Hunter is not a person but a collective, was so personable that Lily missed her when she was gone. The young woman who brought us our dishes was the very face of conscientiousness.
And this says nothing about our daughter’s surgeon and his physician’s assistant who were her primary care givers in this moment. They both took their time to speak with us and answer any and all questions. (And, too, I have to thank the doctor for catching me when I almost fainted after he told us the good news about our daughter’s operation.)
On top of all that, we also had the most amazing experience of friends turning out to show their support. Two of my colleagues showed up, bearing gifts for our daughter, as did several of her classmates: one brought his iPod so that she could listen to music; another brought her barbies so that they could play together — Barbies spilled across the floor of the hospital room!; and yet another brought nail polish so that they could do each other’s nails. Our daughter’s teacher also came by with a poster-board sized get well card. And it didn’t stop there: three teammates from gymnastics showed up as well as two coaches and the owner of the gym. The balloons and posters and cookies and pet pillows really began to pile up in the room.
What we would like to say to all of you is *thank you, thank you, thank you*. You simple cannot know how much you brightened not only Lily’s day but ours as well. At times, the visits came back to back to back and they were exhausting, but it was the kind of exhaustion one lives for, the exhaustion of being surrounded by such amazingly good people, by such thoughtful, kind, generous people that the world itself is almost too much and we realize that we really do enjoy an embarrassment of riches.