Laura entered Andrew’s room, carefully sanitizing her hands and greeting Andrew with her big friendly smile. She was a favorite, because each time she entered, she always carried on a cheerful conversation, whether Andrew was well enough to respond or not. She bustled around wiping sinks and counters, picking up whatever needed picking up and making Andrew’s bed with swift efficiency. Andrew, on this morning, was glum and unhappy, not his usual talkative self.
“Laura,” I ventured, “are you going to be here for a little bit? Andrew and I are really sick of The Lion King and he wants to watch Bambi. Maybe I could run look for it?”
“Oh sure!” Laura responded with a grin, “I’ll be here for a little bit, you run along, grab some coffee or something while you’re out!”
I hurried along the sterile hallway rejoicing that my boy was comfortable and with someone who cared. I searched the video cabinet, set aside for the cancer ward, and there was no Bambi. I went down the hall to the outpatient clinic, then ran downstairs to another clinic. At last I returned to Andrew’s room, defeated. No Bambi. Andrew’s dull eyes didn’t change much, but he grumbled just a little bit.
Laura mopped the floor while we discussed other options besides Bambi. No other options appealed to the sick little man and he declared, “There’s NOTHIN’ to do…” and slid his body deeper under the covers.
“Well,” Laura chirped, “let me see what I can do.”
As Laura left the room I whispered to her, “Don’t worry about it. Andrew can just figure out how to be happy in spite of not having his movie.”
Laura looked at me with kind, understanding eyes, “Mrs. Bovee, these kids have so little control over their lives, it’s just not fair. Let me see what I can do, it’s a simple enough thing and Andrew is really very good natured and doesn’t ask for much.”
Laura came in and out of Andrew’s room for the next several hours, taking temperatures, checking blood pressures and bringing water and the requisite burrito. No Bambi appeared and honestly, I was tired and didn’t care. Andrew was having a really grumpy day and I was straining to find ways to occupy his mind, while letting his body rest.
Mid-afternoon Laura came skipping around the corner of Andrew’s door, waving a Bambi triumphantly over her head, eyes sparkling and grin wider than ever! “Sorry it took so long,” she panted, “my mom missed the first bus option and so it took an hour longer than we planned.”
“What?” I asked in surprise, “this movie came by bus?”
“Yes,” Laura was still catching her breath, her eyes still sparkling, “I called my mom this morning to see if we still had Bambi at our house. So she caught the bus, but just missed the one that comes directly here, so she had to catch the bus…..”
And Laura described several hours of travel that I wouldn’t want to deal with ever, let alone for a movie. Her mom (who had never met Andrew) had traveled for 2 ½ hours across the city of Portland to bring a grumpy little cancer patient and his caregiver mom the movie Bambi.
Some people are more than medical professionals, they should be called fairy godmothers.Some medical people should be called fairy godmothers, working magic above and beyond the medical #write31days #caregiver via @caregivermom Click To Tweet
For more in the series of 31 Days of Unexpected Blessings from Caregiving.