The kids were set. My mom came to take care of them for a week. My dance studio was set. We postponed registration of new students for a few weeks. Our service company was set. We had two techs in place to work and hopefully take up Keith’s slack.
We checked in Keith’s burley self (oh, what a bushy beard he had!), and made plenty of jokes with the staff. He was prepped for surgery, rocking a hosptial gown (open to the back, of course), and starving (no food or drink after midnight!). He and I laughed. We picked on each other. We waited patiently. It was freezing cold in the holding room. He handed me his wedding ring.
“Mr. Herring, do you have a will?”
“Do I need one?” *laughs*
“I hope not, Sir!”
When they came to get Keith, I watched him until he was out of sight. They rolled him across the room, out the door, and through another set of doors, then was gone. He waved at me. It was a slow elevator ride up to the OR waiting area.
I watched the lobby monitor and counted the minutes. The screen showed the patient’s last name and where they were in the process – “Herring – OR” and eventually “Herring – Recovery”. I sat next to Keith’s mother. We waited hours.
That evening, in an 8th-floor room, Keith rolled in on a hospital bed groggy and hooked up to machines. The surgery was deemed a success, and his belly and colon would need a day or so to “wake up”from the trauma of surgery and the anesthesia. He slept. Machines beeped. It was quiet.
I slept on a couch.
Last night I asked Keith at what point he was ever scared. He said he was never scared.