It’s a drill we know – warm skin and pink cheeks equal new antibiotics that hang from the IV pole. The pump whirrs behind me as I stand at the window. We’ve been moved to Ward F – the Hilton. The view from Nicholas’ bed is of the tops of trees among the stately houses in this area, and mountains in the distance on a clear day.
There are coat hooks! I’m really excited about being able to hang Nick’s housecoat and sweater and having somewhere to put my belongings.
Each day this past week Bridie, Nick’s teacher, appeared in his doorway and she wouldn’t take “No” for an answer. “C’mon love. You don’t want to repeat grade six.” While she settles his work book on the table that fits over his bed I gather my own notes. I use this time in the school room to write my letters on a computer so I can print them. Propped up in bed, a little prince among pillows, Nicholas has his head over a book, pencil in hand and Bridie with her slight English accent tells him, “There’s a good lad.””
I yawn. At 5am I was at the bus depot in the Ronald McDonald House van with the Canucks shark emblem to pick up my friend Heather W. She arrived with a suitcase full, as much as she could carry, of gifts from home. Gail and Brian R were here for a quick visit earlier in the week, and they brought boxes. Two of my co-workers, Mel and Jay and their wives Gwen and Alice, have also visited. Packages arrive for Nicholas almost daily. We are told of the fund raisers and kids selling cookies and juice from the road side.
And all the prayers… prayers for Nick to heal. I sure hope God is listening.
Saturday April 17
Heather and I, with beautiful sunshine warming our backs, push Nick in a wheel chair up the long hill to Queen Elizabeth Park. We watch an artist sketch a woman’s portrait. There was a time when this quiet activity wouldn’t have kept Nick’s attention for more than a minute, but today he watches the artist attempt to capture the lovely tilt to the mouth of his subject.
Mother Nature herself paints this day with the tender colors of spring, and she swirls a breeze that smells of the snow caps on the mountain peaks and the yellow sun. There is a bright liveliness in the people who pass by us, their vitality a stark contrast with my son’s sickly white pallor and the slouch of his back in an old wheel chair too large for his wasting body.
My cold heart warms to see him lift his chin to the sky, and the sun kiss his face.