I have a friend who's in the hospital. He's one of the most ridiculous (in a good way) people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
A few years ago, he found himself in rehab trying to learn to walk with an amputated leg. Being a good friend, I wanted to let him know I was there for him, I cared, and help if he needed anything. I was a bundle of nerves as I went to his room. Losing a limb can change a person. He'd always been positive and silly, but would this make him depressed? Would he be angry? Or could we joke and would he find the pirate hat I had in the car as funny as he used to?
Walking into his room, he was just finishing his jello and greeted me with a hearty "argh!" We talked, laughed, and while he did admit to feeling sad about losing his limb, he thought the whole pirate angle was hilarious. Said he'd get a fake parrot for the next time he had to meet with PT. Months later, he got a tattoo on his other leg with a finger pointing to the stump and above it read "I'm with Stumpy."
Last week he lost the other leg.
This was after he lost his dog of 10 years, his step-father passed before that, and two weeks prior to surgery, his mom had a stroke. I thought for sure he'd be sucking on a bullet. Nope. I walked in and he greeted me with a big smile. "Hey skinny! How you doing?" (I've lost weight in the past few months - not on purpose) "Those better not have cost you very much." He sends me an accusing glare as I hand him a stuffed cat with about 10 balloons pinned to it.
I shake it off, knowing he'd look at them and smile a little when I left, so they were worth the ridiculous fee the hospital charges. We talked for a while, catching up on things and he was telling me the various things he could envision as he looked at the watercolor flower painting on his wall. His doc came in to talk about pain meds and left. After she left, he looked at me and said, "well, I always did admire Lt. Dan."
It took me a second, and then we just laughed and laughed.
I left, amazed that someone could still maintain their sense of humor and positive outlook in life after all that had happened. He's crazy, and humbles me almost every time we talk. I want to be that positive light in someones life.