It’s not a great sign when you’re at Burbank Airport and hear an announcement saying that all flights are cancelled. The good news was that it was only flights to Las Vegas. I say that selfishly because I needed to get to northern California where my two year old grandson was having surgery.
Ryder was born with Hirschsprung’s disease, a complicated illness that in simple terms causes intestinal dysfunction. He has had more than his share of procedures and operations, including the most recent one. The hospital can be a scary place for a toddler, but Danielle, the youngest daughter and the one who tolerates the Doods, and her husband Jay, the cat person, have been amazing. They have provided unwavering support for Ryder. The way that they have handled everything speaks to the resilience of the human spirit. There are moments of exhaustion, frustration and anger at the situation, but they always bounce back. They offer uncompromising love and compassion.
Ryder has been having a tough time. Recovery can be slow. Still, thanks to the constant loving presence of Danielle and Jay, he has had moments of contentment and joy. Even in the hospital, he can just be a little boy.
Another bright note, aside from my flight not being cancelled, was that I got to hang out with Bella, my adorable four year old granddaughter. No, I am not biased. Watching her brother has been tough on her too. It was nice to see her smile and hear her laugh. On the down side, she loves Minnie Mouse cartoons. I have to admit the stories have been updated, but Minnie still has the most annoying voice. Not to mention Daisy Duck.
Working in the hospital with the dogs, I’ve had the opportunity to interact with so many parents of sick children. In a way it gives me even more insight into what my kids are going through. Of course it’s tougher when it’s your own family. Also, knowing what the dogs can do, I would have given anything to have Gus or another therapy dog walk in and put a smile on Ryder’s face, even for a fleeting moment.
When I got home last night, Elbee and Gus gave me their usual over the top greeting with some guilt mixed in because I had abandoned them for a few days. Once they settled down, it was as if they sensed my emotional state and became my personal therapy dogs. Sitting with them cuddled next to me, I totally got it. I felt the worry and the tension fade away.