Even though Christian's eyes were open, I could tell he didn't fully understand or see what was going on. As I started taping up the things I had brought, my mom and I read him some of the quotes and letters from dear friends and family. He would turn his head and look back and forth at us, as if to thank us for being there. He moved his arms high above his head as if to say, "Get me the ---- out of this bed! Can't you see I'm fine?" Sometimes he would close his eyes and nod off, I can imagine his movements took a lot of energy.
The best part of being there last night was seeing how my mom reacted to Christian's panic. She stood right next to where his eyes were looking, staring straight into his brown eyes. You can see a strong string of worry behind all the medication and Christian's eyes were wide open with worry for Stephanie and the children. I loved seeing some of that panic lessen as my mom looked directly into his eyes as she quietly whispered over and over again, "I love you Christian. You're just fine. I love you."
In the last week, I've often thought about what it would be like if I were the one in that Burn Unit and not my brother and his wife. I can't honestly say that I'm selfless enough to wish it were me instead of them but I find so much comfort in knowing that if it were me, my mom would still be right there whispering over and over again, "I love you Elizabeth. You're just fine. I love you."
I am so grateful that I have a family who will sit in a hospital waiting room for hours just to hear news from a doctor, for a brother-in-law who will always call on your birthday and leave silly, ridiculous messages on your phone, for a sister who will spend her afternoon at the Burn Unit with a magazine but not even look at it, for a brother who lives out of state but calls (and webcams) several times a week to get an update and cry together, for a sister-in-law who makes caramel corn to send to my lonely, worried brother in Germany, for a sister whose doctor husband pesters nurses and surgeons until questions are answered and for so many others. And I'm most grateful to say that I don't take any of them for granted.