daughter, dreams, love
Susan and her daughter sat in the waiting room at their local hospital.
Jenny had never been to the hospital before, well, she’d been born in one, of course, but since then she hadn’t been in one, and her memory didn’t go that far back.
Her Mum sat next to her and wiped away a tear. Jenny was sad too. They had a phone call that morning from the care home that her Grandad lived in. They said he had been found unconscious on the floor of his room. He was in a coma. Jenny couldn’t help thinking it was a funny sounding word for something so sad. Her Grandad used to sit her on his knee and tell her stories. All kinds of stories, but the ones she loved best were the ones with fairies in. Grandad had said, she must always believe in Fairies, and dreams. They are real and dreams do come true, he always said.
She loved her Grandad very much.
“Mrs Henderson?” A stern looking lady in a nurses uniform and dark hair swept back into a bun was speaking to her Mum.
“Your Father is still in a coma, I’m afraid, but he is in a stable condition. Would you like to follow me” The Nurse started walking off down one of the many corridors. Her Mum grabbed her daughters hand and quickly followed.
When they walked into the room, Jenny saw her Grandfather lying on the bed, with lots of wires and tubes coming out of him. His face was very pale and his eyes were closed. He looked like he was sleeping deeply.
“I’ll leave you to it,” The stern nurse said and closed the door behind her.
Her Mum sat in the chair next to the bed and picked up her fathers hand and held it tightly.
Jenny stood next to her mother and held her hand too, creating a chain of love.
The minutes passed, and Jenny watched her Grandfather’s chest rise and fall gently. Aside from breathing, the only other sound was the monotonous beeping of the heart monitor. She found it reassuring. Her Grandfather was not dead, he was alive, he was only sleeping. Any minute he would open his eyes and smile at her, like he always did.
But the minutes passed and nothing happened.
There was a gentle tap on the door and another nurse came into the room. She had a friendly, docile nature, not stern like the first one had been.
“Excuse me, Mrs Henderson. Do you mind signing a few forms?” the nice nurse said.
“Oh, OK? Can I speak to the Doctor too?” Susan stood up and then turned to her daughter.
“Just sit there Jenny, There’s a good girl. I will only be a few moments.”
Jenny sat down in the chair her mother had just vacated and picked up her Grandfathers hand. It was heavier than usual, somehow. All the lines and wrinkles of that hand were familiar to her, as was the faded tattoo of an eagle that was on the back. Her Grandad had got that tattoo when he was a young man in the army. What he called, the ‘Call-up’. He said all young men had to spend time in the army, but it had been after the war. He’d spent most of the time peeling spuds. That’s what Grandad called potatoes.
Jenny just couldn’t take it any more. She gave her Grandfather’s hand a vigorous shake.
“Wake Up Grandad! Why won’t you wake up?” Jenny put her head down on her grandfathers shoulder and cried.
Then she remembered a story he had told her, about fairies and their special magic. He had given her a bottle of magic fairy dust as a present last Christmas and she kept it with her always in her pocket. Just in case she needed it. She pulled out a small phial of silver glitter and with a sprinkle here and there, covered her grandfather and the bed.
“Magic Fairy dust, wake my Grandad Up!” She cried.
‘Beep, Beep, Beep’ went the heart monitor, just as before. Nothing had changed.
The door opened and a tall man wearing a long white coat came in with her Mother.
“This is Doctor Jessell, Jenny, he’s going to look after Grandad. It’s time we went home now. How about, as a treat, we pick up some fish and chips on the way home? Would you like that?”
“Oh yes Mummy, they’re my favourite.”
Susan grabbed her daughter’s hand and they walked out of the room, leaving the doctor behind.
Jenny suddenly pulled away. “Why not wait a bit longer, Mummy? Then Grandad can have some fish and chips with us?”
Susan knelt down and pulled her daughter close.
“I’m sorry, Jenny. Doctor Jessell doesn’t think he’ll make it. He banged his head hard and they think there may have been some bleeding on the brain. We have to remember all the good times we had.”
As they clung to each other in the hospital corridor, suddenly a door opened and Dr Jessell came striding towards them.
“Mrs Henderson, I’m glad I caught you before you left. He’s awake! Not long after you left, he opened his eyes and spoke. We are just running a few tests to make sure everything’s OK and we will have to monitor him for a couple of days, but there doesn’t seem to be any brain damage after all.”
They walked back into the room. The old man gave them a weak smile and spoke softly.
“Alright Suzie? Why am I all covered in Glitter?”
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 26/November/2018