When I entered the hospital room her eyes said she recognized me.
All through our 25-year friendship, Mary taught me about life, faith and how to be a friend. She was suffering from the effects of diabetes. The last heart attack left her heart too weak to keep good circulation in her legs. The doctors were walking a fine line. They needed to amputate the leg before gangrene poisoned her. However, Mary’s heart had to heal enough for her to survive the surgery.
Mary had her share of sorrows. She knew the human face of abandonment, betrayal and crippling pain. I couldn’t look at her in that hospital bed lined with monitors and not feel a deep sense of injustice.
She turned to me and smiled. As her liver failed, so did her ability to speak coherently. Our eyes locked, and I could tell she wanted to say something. She seemed to concentrate hard, as if it was difficult to form the words. “I…love…” she paused as she struggled to get the last word out–so I drew closer. ”Puppies!”
Then she closed her eyes and shook her head no, and giggled at herself.
She spent the rest of the afternoon in and out of reality–smiling, giggling and whispering. She was locked away deep inside herself with no escape. She was a prisoner inside her own body.