ICU thoughts

Nana and Papa Kurtz with Diesel Dan

Every morning for many years, my Nana and Papa's lives have gone like this:

Nana and Papa wake up. Nana sleeps downstairs because she has a hard time walking up the stairs. Papa sleeps upstairs because he has a hard time sleeping and he doesn't like to keep Nana up at night.

They wake up. But Papa hasn't seen Nana yet. She slips into the bathroom first thing. She always tells him that she doesn't want him to see her without her hair brushed first. She wants her hair to look beautiful for her man. She goes to brush her hair.

While she is brushing her fine, red hair my Papa walks to the kitchen to make a full pot of hot decaf Folgers coffee. They have a deal. Papa makes the morning pot of coffee, pours Nana her cup, and sets it by her chair. Nana makes the afternoon pot of coffee, pours Papa his cup, and sets it by his chair. Since it is morning, it's his turn.

After Nana finishes brushing her hair she walks out to greet the day and greet her love, Papa Kurtz, with a lovely smoochy smooch (Oh, yes I have witnessed many of these and it's way easier than watching your parentals!)

Love that is alive after 53 years is great, ain't it?


As I watched my Papa brush Nana's hair today in her small room in the ICU at St. Luke's Hospital, I couldn't help but feel so much pain. Pain for me, pain for my family, pain for my Papa, who is doing the one thing he can do that he knows she would love and appreciate, brush her hair.

How is death fair? How is getting older fair? Why did we bring sin in the world to bring this on ourselves? How is it fair that a man who dearly loves his wife has to ponder how many opporutnities he has left to brush that very woman's hair? Who makes him coffee in the afternoon when she is gone? Or if he should pass before her, who will make her morning coffee?

It's not fair. It doesn't feel fair. I don't think it ever will.


The wave of Nana's health has gone back and forth, up and down. So far we have had two "close calls," which are defined as sleepless nights in a lonely bed or ICU waiting room, eyes puffy, awaiting the hope of a miracle in the morning.

And two times we have had a miracle.

The doctors have much more hope for her this morning than the nurses told us last night. That is good. Hope is hope we can cling to, pray for, feed on. She is still young. She is not gone yet. There is hope. She is still very much alive!

Please continue to keep her in your prayers. Thank you for wrestling with me through all of this mess.

1 comment:

Laurie Sue said...

I couldn't have imagined a more beautiful and touching tribute to the love your grandparents share, Aimee. They are truly soul-mates and the very best of friends. Nana and Papa, even in the most difficult of times, have always put the other first and remained faithful to their vows and promises to each other. It is a rare and wonderful thing to have a personal perspective into their lives! OH, and by the way, you DO reach a certain age when the smoochy smoochies between parentals aren't gross any more ;-) In fact, I always loved that my dad would tell Nana, when I was growing up, that when she divorced him he would be her boy-friend and would live over the garage and come to visit her on rainy days.

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