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I was in a quandary. I was terrified of leaving the house and going to Edmonton to be with Cid after his surgery. One of my mother’s staff was married to a doctor. When he heard that Cid was having a kidney removed – he highly recommended that I be there. I promptly forgot about my own problems and made the decision to be with Cid.
With a map to the hospital on the passenger’s seat, I made the 2 hour drive to Edmonton. Arriving around noon, I negotiated my way through the traffic and found the hospital without any problem. I never even thought about my nervousness of driving in the snow or the fact that I had rarely driven my car in almost a year. Instead I had the presence of mind to park in a parking lot that allowed a vehicle for long hours and made my way into the hospital. I never hesitated when I had to inquire about which room Cid was in and when I found it and discovered he wasn’t out of surgery yet, I went to find the recovery room.
I leaned against the wall outside the recovery room for over an hour and thought about Cid. His doctor had waved off his complaints for over a year about peeing blood – and it had come to this. I knew Cid was too soft spoken and unaware of what it took to get a doctor to pay attention to a person’s complaints. Before my mental breakdown I had told him he needed to insist that the doctor do some more tests. But he had done his usual shrug of his shoulders and let it go. I wondered how he could be such a good lawyer and yet be so meek and mild mannered.
After an hour I began walking up and down the hall, unwilling to go very far in case they brought him out of recovery. He had no idea that I was at the hospital. I hadn’t told him I would be coming because I wanted to see the smile on his face when I surprised him. I knew what that smile would look like and it brought a smile to my own lips and tears to my eyes. Closing my eyes I brought up the memory of what his kisses were like and how his lips tasted. I thought of the feel of his hand holding mine and how his arm felt around my shoulders. When I was almost on the verge of breaking down because of my fear of losing him, I heard the doors swing open behind me.
A gurney came into sight and all I could see were bags and tubes and machines. Then I saw feet covered with those blue hospital blankets. The other two gurneys that had come through those doors had held strangers who were whisked away to the surgical ward. As I craned my head forward in search of a face, I sent up a prayer that this one would be Cid. The patient had his head turned in the other direction and I hurried along beside the gurney in an effort to catch a glimpse of whoever lay on this rolling bed. Suddenly his head turned towards me and our eyes met. My heart skipped a beat followed by a sharp pang when his face lit up as I leaned in and he was able to make out that it was me. Ignoring the IV lines he reached out and clasped my hand and held it tight as they rolled him along.
“Aims,” he said. “It’s cancer”.