Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Happy To See You

In my life I've had several dogs, and all the dogs I've ever had have behaved the same way; when I came home, whenever that was, the dog was always happy to see me.  Nay, excited and happy to see me.  Run-to-the-door and wag-their-tail and jump-in-my-lap happy to see me.

That kind of happy to see me was true of my two daughters when they were young.  When I'd come home, if they were still up, they'd run excitedly to me yelling "Daddy's home!  Daddy's home!  Yay!" and either jump in my arms or, if my arms were full, each grab one of my legs and be dragged along.  They grew out of that, though.  Trust me, they don't get up off the couch now, much less yell "Yay!" or anything like that.

Sue hasn't always been that happy to see me.  For example, when I'd come home late from work and missed dinner, or some ill behavior like that.  There's an old and sorry joke about the difference between your wife and your dog.  If you put them both in the trunk of your car for an hour and then come back and open up the trunk, the dog will be happy to see you, and your wife will be ready to kill you.  There've been times when I'm pretty sure Sue was ready to kill me.  O.K.  Real sure.

But being really sick and being in a hospital and being at the mercy of forces beyond your control can reduce you to a more animal (or infantile, if you prefer) state.  One like the dog or the child who's happy to have any kind visitor most anytime, and even happier to have a special one.  That's the state Sue lives in these days. I call it the "Happy To See You" state.

Of course, she wears out quickly, too, and so does your welcome.  Sometimes when I wanted to be ornery, as visitors were leaving our house I would announce, "John, everyone who comes here brings joy to our house.  Some bring joy when they come, and some bring joy when they go."  In the case of visiting Sue at the hospital, you will likely bring her joy on both ends of the equation.


  1. You must be in my head. This "happy to see" you is exactly how I feel since the myeloma when I see my husband. I am praying for you and Sue and hope the doctor finds the answer to Sue's weakness SOON.
    Rebecca Weber

  2. I've been reading your blog, but have been unable to comment at work. I'm sneaking an early morning spot at the computer. Before the wee one screams for her "nana"! And the older one insists on waffles and eggs! And before my coffee!

    It is always difficult to take steps backwards.

    As far as the not eating by mouth, that is a huge deal. Probably one people do not realize as such a huge impact on families. Food is comfort, food is enjoyable, food is a treat, food is social - where families come together and converse. Food has pleasant aromas and memories all wrapped around it. Not being able to eat is a big deal! Aspiration is no fun at all! I hope she gets healthy and regains her motor control soon. Even just a bit, taste, nibble, and sip helps so much.

    Thinking of you lots. I hope today is better than yesterday with a few bright moments!

  3. George- My prayers are with you every day! Short dog tail (I mean tale). Bella our new dog is one of those dogs that "smiles" at you when you come home. It's most hilarious unless you'r'e someone who isn't accustomed to that toothy smile. Then it's quite amusing to watch faces-Bella's and theirs.
    Is Susan a music lover? As a child, I was ill a long time. Music ministered to my soul. Just a thought. (I know I'm the kind of person who tries to fix things. Wish I could be there to strum and sing!) Janice

  4. When my husband was first diagnosed with MM, he had a stream of (shocked) visitors and he just didn't want the fuss. It was too exhausting. Several guests were greeted with "Happy to see you... but even happier to see you go". They thought he was cracking a joke but he was perfectly serious.