"How is she going to know who I am with this mask over my face?" I asked the nurse as she reached for the door to let me in.
"She won't even know you are here, Hon." Her eyes looked worried. "We had to induce a coma. She will be unconscious for a while. And I should tell you that it is critical that you keep the mask, and all of the other sterile clothing, on as long as you are in her room. We had to remove a section of her skull to give her brain room to swell. An infection would be dangerous for her."
My gut cramped and I swallowed hard to relieve it. "I understand," I said. Except I didn't. I searched her eyes as I asked one final question. “How long will she be in the coma?”
“Depends on how soon we can get the swelling down.” She motioned for me to enter.
They say that there are things for which you can never be prepared. I learned the truth of that when I caught first sight of Grandmother. She had casts on three limbs; her right leg had been spared. There were tubes in her mouth and nose, and apparently every other place on her body they could find to stick one. Wires came out from under the sheet which covered her and monitors littered the room. You could, I imagined, divine every function of her body from this command center. Her head was covered so that the only recognizable feature of her face was her eyes...those eyes I had come to love so dearly.
My heart sunk to the soles of my shoes and I hoped that the mask would hide the tears that were running into it.
“She asked for you,” Nurse Nona said, “when she was brought in.” She touched my shoulder. “I take it you are close to her.”
I glanced at her. “My parents were killed when I was seven. Grandmother raised me. She has been my mother for the past fifteen years.”
She nodded and squeezed my shoulder a bit. “I'll leave you alone with her. If you need anything, I'll be at my station.”
I did need something. I needed Grandmother to be okay again. But that was the one thing the nurse couldn't deliver. After she left, I dropped to my knees beside the bed and begged God for her life. He was her only hope now.
[To Be Continued . . .]