CREDOS: The caregiver — II

Karen Kosman

Moments later I felt elated about the conversation I’d overheard. “Grandpa, this will make your knee feel better. There, now can I sit on your good knee?” I walked into the living room to find them snuggling closely together, happily reading a story. Hannah pointed to a bike in the picture book and said, “Grandpa, if you do what the doctor tells you, you’ll be able to ride your bike again.”

“You know, I think you’re right, Hannah.” Over the next three weeks, John had to endure the drudgery of preoperative tests. During that time his anxiety level climbed. His hazel eyes, dulled by pain, lost their luster. Even his normally healthy bronze complexion turned a grayish colour.

Finally, the day before surgery, John announced, “I just want this all behind me. Whatever it takes to feel normal again — bring on the surgery!” Even as he made this announcement, I heard an underscore of worry in his voice. Later that afternoon, Hannah brought her colouring

books over and sat down at the dining room table. “I’m going to colour a picture,” she announced. “Grandpa, what’s your favourite colour?”

“Red,” John replied. Once again I watched as the two of them worked on Hannah’s art project. “Grandpa,” she said, placing her prize picture in her grandpa’s lap, “I want you to have this picture so you won’t be afraid when you get your knee fixed.” No one had ever mentioned Grandpa’s being afraid. Yet Hannah’s sensitive heart seemed to understand.