The nurse on my dad’s floor today is constantly joking with him.
When it’s time for his afternoon snack, she pretends it’s happy hour.
“What would you like for snack today? We have apple martinis, Long Island iced teas, red wine, white wine, yellow wine, whatever wine you like!”
My dad pretends to ponder his alcoholic options.
“I’M GONNA HAVE TO GO WITH CHAWKLIT ICE CREAM, CHRISTINA.”
“All those options and you choose chocolate ice cream?”
“IF YOU DON’T HAVE THAT, I’LL TAKE VANILLA.”
“You are so demanding!” Christina mocks and walks out the door to get him his treat.
Later, my dad moves from a high chair he’s been sitting in to his bed. Because he’s so tall, the most comfortable things for him to sit in are high off the ground. The pain is lessening significantly and during the transfer to the bed, he doesn’t yell at all, which is a first. My brother and I exchange glances.
“WOW, DAD! That was GREAT!” I say. No yelling. No screaming. This is fantastic on its own but coupled with the fact that they took him off any pain medication save Motrin and some Tylenol seems downright miraculous.
“He’s gonna get all full of himself,” says Christina. “I’m gonna get him a Burger King crown so the next time he sits on the high chair, he can pretend it’s his throne.”
She attempts to move my dad’s tray.
“Can you move it on the other side, Christina?” asks my dad.
“THE OTHER SIDE?” Christina exclaims. “HOW DEMANDING!”
“Yes, yes, I am,” says my dad.
And then addresses Christina with her new title:
“MY ROYAL SUBJECT, PLEASE MOVE MY TRAY TO THE LEFT.”
“Yes, your highness,” bows Christina.
And everyone laughs, the sound of it echoing down the hospital corridor on this very sunny Sunday afternoon.