It’s 2:36 am, and my pledge to stay awake all night at the hospital is being tested. I did go to sleep once and slept an hour or so — at least that’s what I thought. According to my phone it was only about 7 minutes.
Those 7 minutes, paired with 23 others, added up to the longest half hour I’ve had in a while as the clock crept from 2 to 2:30. Daddy is actually resting fairly well. I hope my watchfulness isn’t making him restless, but he seems to be sleeping despite my staring.
I was sitting here thinking about all of the ways he and Mother took care of me when I was a little girl. I remember a lot of nights Mother took hot towels out of the dryer to put against my ear when I had an earache. I remember Daddy bringing home a special treat when I was home sick from school. Typically, that treat would be a paint-by-number set he picked up on his way home from work.
My parents were, like a lot of folks their age, both working. And yet they managed to take care of the three of us, aging parents, and a lot of pets and, for a while, even some livestock. That sort of amazes me. Some days I barely feel able to take care of myself.
I loved those paint-by-number sets. I’m not a great visual artist, but even I could put the colors provided right where the numbers said. The paints themselves never cured a sore throat or a tummy ache, but they did wrap an extra layer of love around my heart on days when I didn’t feel well.
I wish there was some similar gift I could bring to help make everything better. I hope it’s enough just to be here — at 2:50 am — watching to make sure everything is okay.