The family and friend's journey parallels that of the patient, but rarely do their experiences intersect. It is a strange and careful distance, a precious and dear closeness.
I am told this is what happened in the waiting room while I was in surgery. I am told that my family took up most of the waiting room. I am told that my parents, grandparents, aunt etc..., and church friends huddled around; my cousin learned to knit at some point in there.
I am told that when the doctor came in to tell of the surgery, of the thyroid cancer, that the whole waiting room went silent. That my mom and dad heard the news first only due to the laws of physics; you know, sound waves and all; but really, they all heard at the same time.
I am told my mom cried, my dad was shocked, and my grandfather said, "Not her. It can be me, but not her."
This is a sacred story to me. One that is passed on by oral tradition. The details maybe sketchy, but the heart of it is huge: I am loved. While I was oblivious, hearing German, and emotionally dulled with pain meds, these others bore my story.