Remember all those trips I made back and forth to Edmonton when Cid had his kidney removed? That was because I couldn’t afford to get a hotel room and Cid would not let me into his condo because he was ashamed of it. My friend, the lawyer, was ashamed of his condo.
This time around I told him in no uncertain terms that I wasn’t going to drive back and forth to Edmonton for however long it was going to take for him to get better. With his head full of stitches and just out of surgery he couldn’t argue with me as I dug around in the pockets of his clothing until I found his keys. He gave a little groan when I held them in front of him and asked him which ones were for his condo and for directions to get there – but in the end he knew I had him. There was not going to be any arguing with me over this one.
His uncle and I set up a routine that suited both of us perfectly. He would come in early in the morning and sit with Cid and I would come in later in the day and stay until the staff eventually kicked me out. Cid’s uncle had opted for a hotel room and was happy with that arrangement. He didn’t want to share Cid’s condo with me once I had managed to make Cid see the light of day on that subject.
So that is what we did. I would arrive in the early afternoon and sit with Cid as he slowly recovered. Most nights I left in the early morning hours – around 1am. The nurses didn’t mind my staying after visiting hours as I did everything for Cid and eased their load as much as I could. It was obvious that I just wanted to be with him and him with me.
I spent the mornings cleaning Cid’s condo and trying to make it as comfortable as I could for Cid when he was finally let out of the hospital. Every single day, before I headed over to the hospital, I called my mother. We talked about Cid’s condition and I held the phone to my ear and let the tears run down my face while Mom prayed for Cid. She always prayed for me as well and for my mental health to remain strong. In the early morning hours I called D and told him about my day with Cid and how he was healing. Both of these people helped me keep my sanity when I was so afraid for Cid.
When the days turned into weeks, Cid told me to use his car instead of my own. He didn’t want me spending money on gas and he had a pass for the hospital parking that was affixed to his windshield. He had been there so many times over the last couple of years that he had decided it was cheaper to buy a parking pass than pay the lot prices every single time. Cid was big on ‘cheaper’.
As with any surgery, walking is a big priority. When Cid could finally manage walking up and down the unit’s hallway, they sent him to a different unit. Three weeks had passed by this time and you could still see the red swollen scar if you lifted Cid’s hair, but the staples had been removed and he insisted there wasn’t any feeling around the scar. Cid was nothing but amazing to me. His determination to get better and get back to work made me ashamed of my inability to get past my own mental problems. Cid wouldn’t let me talk about myself like that and kept reaffirming that I too would get better some day. And if I didn’t? He didn’t care – he loved me anyway.
On the day Cid was to be discharged, I cleaned the condo and turned down his bed. I had never slept in it during my stay there but had opted to sleep on the couch instead. The idea of sleeping in his bed didn’t feel right without Cid to share it with. Looking around the condo I was pleased with the work I had done and I knew that Cid was going to be surprised when he walked in the door. His one-bedroom condo was in an older building and Cid had not made any attempts at fixing or improving. It just wasn’t his thing. He preferred to fill his balcony with plants and flowers and he was well known in the area for his ‘blooming balcony’.
I could hardly contain my excitement when I arrived at the hospital loaded down with warm clothing for Cid’s journey home. I was like a kid going to a party and I strolled into his room with the biggest smile on my face and a heart full of anticipation. What I found confused and deflated my party balloon instantly. Cid was lying on his bed with an oxygen mask on his face and he was looking as white as the sheets he was laying on. Rushing to his side I checked to make sure he was alive and then asked him what was happening when he opened his eyes and looked at me. Taking off the mask for a moment he said,
“I was just coming out of the bathroom when all of a sudden I thought I was going to faint and I just can’t seem to catch my breath.”