This post was hand-written (while I was half sedated) during my time in the I.C.U. and dedicated to Angela Meraviglia.
I believe in angels.
During my recent and unexpected visit to Virtua Hospital, I had one nurse assigned to me during each 12-hour shift in the I.C.U.
All of them did what was required of them: they gave me my pain medications, they took my vitals, they came to me when I rang for them…
But, when you are scared to death like I was, and you can’t speak because you have a breathing tube down your throat like I had, you really need something more than a nurse.
You need an angel.
Because the last thing you, the patient, wants to be feeling, is to be a burden on anyone.
Which, on many occasions, I have to admit, I did feel.
Like when a nurse would walk into my room, after having rang for her, and she pops her head in and asks, “Yes?”
HELLO?!?!?!? (I’m saying/screaming to myself!)
I’ve got a BREATHING tube down my throat!
Don’t you KNOW that?
I CAN’T SPEAK!?
What do you mean, HELLO????
I need a PEN and PAPER to COMMUNICATE with you!!!
It’ll take a few seconds of your time…
I’m SORRY for the bother!!
But, I tried not to get stuck on that.
And, thank G-d, it wasn’t always like this.
Because I was blessed with an angel.
This angel was the antithesis of all the other nurses that I met.
This angel was caring, funny, experienced, and compassionate.
How can I help?
She would ask, before I even rang for her.
Can I fix the way you’re sitting? It looks to my that you’re sitting kind of funny, she’d say.
And, she had a sense of humor that could make you roll over laughing until you die (God forbid!)
Like her conspiracy theories that my father and husband were F.B.I. agents – each having their own swipe cards leading up to the back entrance of the hospital – allowing them to enter on their own time and at any time.
You see, I wasn’t afraid to bother this angel.
Just the opposite.
I was encouraged and calmed by her.
Like when she found a spot of blood on the pillow that was underneath my knees.
Do you have your period, she asked?
CALL THE DOCTOR!!! I strongly suggested.
Wait a minute, she said calmly.
Let’s see if we can make sense of this.
And, she did.
It was the heparin shot in my leg, that slightly bled into the pillow (which, in case you don’t know, heparin shots don’t get covered up with bandaids like most other shots.)
I always bring gifts from Israel when I visit the States.
This time, I brought beautifully painted rocks.
With words from the Bible painted on them, in Hebrew.
After giving out three of them to my friends, I found myself with one remaining.
The smallest one.
Small enough to put into the palm of your hand.
And I was deliberating what to do with it.
And it came to me while laying in that hospital bed.
I couldn’t think of a better person to whom to give it.
Written on this particular rock was not a sentence, like the other rocks I brought back, but rather just one word.
This word is composed of 4 Hebrew letters: Aleph, Hey, Vet, Hey.
And, as a lover of Hebrew, please allow me explain the root of this word.
The letter Aleph in the Hebrew alphabet (the first letter in the word LOVE), represents the self, “I”.
The letter Hey in the Hebrew alphabet (the last letter in the word LOVE), represents God.
The two letters in between – Hey and Vet compose the root of the word: Hav, which means – TO GIVE.
In other words, LOVING is synonymous with GIVING.
That is, LOVE is the constant choice to GIVE to another.
It’s a relationship.
For example, with my angel, her unconditional GIVING was the method that created a connection between the two of us.
Her GIVING was the condition that created and sustained love between the two of us.
Without her giving, there would have been no connection that could have been sustaining.
And lucky for me, she worked most of the shifts during my stay in the I.C.U.
And, for obvious reasons, I was quite stuck on her.
And grateful to see her as the sun rose each morning.
So many people continue to tell me that this whole ordeal must have happened for a reason.
That is was orchestrated from above.
Which I do believe, however crazy that may seem.
And, I guess meeting one of my angels was supposed to be part of that scheme.