It was as if Vernon knew Maki was coming today and had prepared for it. Though the hospital front desk wasn’t thrilled about three of us going in at once to visit him, I managed to convince her this was a special occasion. And that ended up being the case. When we got to the room, Vernon was sitting up by his bed, waiting patiently in a wheelchair. I could hardly believe my eyes.
The physical therapist had already taken him out of the room to visit the gym earlier and we were told we could take him out to another part of the hospital.
What? Really? Wow! This was so unexpected and such a delight on the first day Maki had seen his dad in person all summer.
Vernon was able to say Maki’s name as well as a very clear, albeit quiet, “I love you.”
He then took Maki’s hand and raised it to his lips to kiss it.
It was an incredibly touching, spontaneous moment.
We were then able to wheel him outside for some fresh air, something Vernon hasn’t experienced for a very long time. He seemed to like it, but it was probably quite overwhelming, seeing his son, experiencing the sunshine, a wheelchair, sitting up, moving—all in the same morning. These things may have been more significant for us. We were so blessed to be there with him on this day.
A day when so much felt new.