Hospital Food

“Just a little something for the pain. Hospital food getting you down?”

Something I recently thought of…

While my sister was in the hospital, she received three meals a day. Actually, they weren’t too bad. Sometimes she would eat. Sometimes she would not. We would pick out the food that she would be willing to eat, and leave the rest for whomever sat with her for the day. (She would usually have an assortment of crackers and desserts left over).

Three times a day, she would also receive a popular liquid food supplement. (What I have failed to mention in this story is that my father also has stage 4 colon cancer). She would drink it every now and then, but more often than not, she would send the unopened cans home with either my husband or myself to take to Daddy.

Sometimes, the food trays would pile up. Breakfast into lunch; and lunch and snacks into dinner…

At the time I did not realize how comforting just seeing those piled up trays could be. I did not realize it until the day those trays stopped coming. One day there was no breakfast tray. No lunch tray. No dinner tray.

Funny. I can not remember the last conversation I had with my sister. The very last thing I remember saying to her was this: “Would you like a spoonful of spaghetti?” She nodded her head, as if to say “Yes”.

“Are you not hearing a word I say?”
“She sounds so different on the phone. I just sink like a stone”

And as I put the spoon to her lips, she seemingly drifted off to sleep. I don’t recall her ever being awake again after that. Without my realizing it at the time, she had begun her final descent into that “long, dark night.” If I knew then what I know now, I would not have let her drift off. I would have chattered on endlessly about any and everything to her. I would have done this…I would have done that…

It was not too long after this episode, that the trays stopped coming.

One day there was no breakfast tray. No lunch tray. No dinner tray.

And so it finally hit me: As long as those trays kept coming, it meant that there was hope.

I miss hospital food.

“Tell me something
Tell me something
I don’t already know…”

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