” I vacuumed the house.” my husband said. I felt myself grinning.. “She’s back!”, a woman I didn’t know announced triumphantly. I was in the recovery room carefully and tightly wrapped. I couldn’t see properly because my whole head was swollen and my eyes were shut. Later, my children would come for a moment. My mother couldn’t face it.
I can remember a little about the following weeks. I can remember the horrible panic each time I woke and did not know where I was. Sometimes I didn’t know who I was. It always passed and I didn’t tell anyone about my lapses. I had to get better. My sister was staying a few weeks. Later, my sister in law would take over. They put a baby monitor in my room. It was almost unnecessary. They barely left my side.
I had heard that the hamster had escaped from his cage and everyone was on the hunt, but he was fast and smart. Apparently, he could also climb 3 ft in the air because he showed up by my pillow, sitting upright and examining the staples in my head. It was the middle of one night and my sister was taking a well earned sleep when she heard a disembodied voice in the room. “Sssssssssssue. Ssssssssue. He’s here. Sssssssssue. Come.” She bolted upright and realizing the hissing ghost voice was her sister, she raced to the room. the hamster scuttled off to parts unknown at the noise.
Poor woman. “It’s the HAMSTER? I thought you were DYING! It’s 3 am!” She plumped pillows and in the great tradition of all sisters, never let me forget it.