Gail is in surgery right now at Fairview Ridges Regional Hospital in Burnsville, MN. She is having a dermoid cyst removed from her ovary. The cyst being removed is the size of racketball. To me, that is large. Gail was calm and ready as she was rolled into the operating room. We talked for about an hour in pre-op as we waited for the surgeon to get done with the emergency c-section she got called away to do. We talked some, laughed a little, and just enjoyed being together. There was no need to discuss risks or fears or concerns. We've prayed and called on our friends to pray.
For Gail to enter surgery peaceful and confortable shows her faith. Although dermoid cysts are almost always non-cancerous, there is the very, very slight chance that one may be cancerous. Since cancer is in Gail's family history, the spectre of cancer does try to make its presence known when words like "tumor" are used by the surgeon. But that fear is not with us today.
When they finally took Gail back to the OR, we had to part ways. As it has been a habit of ours ever since either of us can remember, we kiss and say, "I love you," before parting ways. It has always been that way. No matter if we are mad at each other, this habit overrides the anger or hurt feelings. So, when they were about to take Gail back, we did out habit. We kissed and told each other, "I love you." It was a very sweet kiss.
There are many kisses shared by spouses. There are passionate kisses where the whole body is thrown into it. There are little kisses meant to take away fear or pain. There are reminder kisses meant to continue the story that there is love in this relationship. There are desperate kisses meant to draw one to the other. There are celebration kisses that serve no other purpose than to mark some important event was worth celebrating.
And I suppose that there is a certain kind of kiss reserved for that moment when one of you is wheeled into the OR - the "pre-op kiss." This kind of kiss affirms the one going under the knife that everything is going to work out. It is a kiss of confidence and hope and optimism. This kiss says, "I am with you no matter what." It says that this surgery is not coming between us. It is a down payment on the kind of care that will be waiting for them when the surgery is over. The pre-op kiss is vulnerable and hopeful, weak and strong, and one of the most trusting kises there is. And somewhere in that kiss is the reassurance that should anything go wrong, our last contact was special and represents the kind of love we have.
Gail and I got the blessing of the "pre-op" kiss.
I am waiting in the very nice waiting room...thinking. The room has a TV on no one is watching. A few people sit scattered about the room sitting as far as they can from each other. I am grateful for wifi.When someone you love is in surgery, there is this feeling of powerless anticipation. All you can do is wait. You can't press time forward. You can't make any imporvements on the surgery. The work of waiting, perhaps praying, is the task of the one waiting.