Last month I had my 5th surgery in 5 years and was in the hospital for a few days recovering. I went into the surgery thinking that I would just be this stoic statue of a woman, been there, done that. Totally unaffected emotionally by it all and on my way to a record breaking recovery. Back to my normal life, work, and activities in just a few short days. (So if you guessed 10' tall and bullet proof above, you're the winner!!) But when I woke up in recovery, I was in more pain than I can remember feeling in a long time. (God has this way of erasing, or at least easing, our memory of physical pain. Have you ever noticed that? My mom always used to say that He does that so that women will have more than one child. Because if we remembered how bad it hurt the first time, we'd all stop after one. How true is that? It's His way of preserving the human race. But I digress.) I was completely shocked by the level of pain. I instantly began to cry and tell the nurse how bad it was and that I needed some medicine. I closed my eyes tight to withstand it until the medicine began to take effect and I felt so desperately alone. (Because it was at the Women's Hospital, they don't allow men into the recovery room to preserve privacy, so Jason was still out in the waiting room.) Hot tears ran down my cheeks. I needed somebody I knew. I needed a familiar face. I needed to hold someone's hand for just a second. I needed somebody I knew to tell me it was going to be ok. Then I heard a voice I recognized. A few beds away, tending to another woman, I heard George. George, the witty, kind, outgoing, personable anesthesia specialist that I had met that morning. He had prepped me for my surgery 6 or 7 hours before. We had laughed and exchanged a few stories and his was the last voice I heard as I laid in the operating room waiting for the IV and the medicine flowing through my mask to make me fall asleep. I opened my eyes and said to my nurse "Is that George? Do I hear George? Can you please tell him to come here? I need to talk to George."
Instantly George was at my bedside. He comforted me, held my hand...or maybe my arm. Said he only had a second, he couldn't stay long. Told me how strong..or maybe brave...he thought I was (the grogginess of anesthesia has effected my elephant memory a bit). And that's the last thing I remember for a while. The medicine made me fall asleep. When I woke back up George was gone, but there was something so soft toughing my arm. I reached for it...a stuffed frog wearing a tiny hospital gown that said "bounce back soon" on the front. And something shiny was floating over my head...a mylar "Get Well Soon" balloon was tied to my bedrail. I was still in recovery, and my nurse told me that my little gift was from George. Again I began to cry. How selfless and kind it was for that sweet man to go and get me a gift to make me feel comforted and loved before I was able to get to see any of my family and friends. My family and friends who were so nervous for me because my surgery had taken quite a while, and because I was in recovery for longer than normal and no one had been able to see me yet.
Have you ever been a George? Have you ever helped a mom whose little girl got hurt at the park, or helped an old lady get something heavy out of her trunk? Have you ever handed a meal to a man on the side of the road? Handed a kleenex to a stranger you see crying? Prayed for someone in the aisle of the grocery store? Taken over doing the laundry and the cooking because it hurts your wife to do it and wears her out? Arranged meals to be taken to a friend in need? Had a loving, mother-daughter talk with someone you're not related to? Driven your friend's kid to and from school every day because she can't do it, and then a week longer than is necessary so she can rest longer in the mornings? The world would be so much sweeter with a few more Georges in it. Take it from a girl who knows. And....if you already are a George. Never underestimate what your kindness could mean to a Kelsey. It can leave an impression that will last a lifetime, and encourage her to be a George more often to the Kelseys she meet along the way.
George and I, the day before I was released. Jason and I were on one of my required 8 daily walks and ran into him as he was coming out of the surgery area. So glad I got to take a picture with my sweet friend. Thank you, George, for everything. :)