In Chapter 31 on page 167, Charlie, looking at his little friend Max in very poor condition in the pediatric cancer ward, “remembered that for so long he’d been in exactly the same place. Tired, hazy, hurting, confused.”
Three memories of mine (relevant here despite some previously mentioned in posts long ago):
1 – Although I was too sick to either open my eyes or respond, this two-word command sticks in my mind: “Breathe, Amy,” my family members, mostly my amazing Mom who never left my side, repeated over & over during 1 of my many stays during my teens in Intensive Care, trying to help me normalize my heart rate. . . 2 – Another time in ICU I managed to mumble that there was a school library book in my backpack that was due back at the library. Several days later, when I was much more alert & able to talk, I told my Mom there was a book in my backpack that needed to be returned, but she informed me I had already told her about it (when she then told my Dad who found the book right where I, in my hazy frail state, muttered it was, & he returned it). I was way too sick to remember that. (Years later I heard that my Mom had said, “Why won’t she stop thinking all the time & just rest?”)
3 – My Mom & older sister Sarah each gave me 1 of their hands to squeeze while I got a painful shot. Wow, did it sting A LOT! I was so sick I couldn’t even speak, though. Then I hear Sarah say, “I don’t think it was that bad. She didn’t squeeze my hand hard at all.” And I remember thinking, “Well of course I didn’t squeeze it hard, because I’m so weak!” But again, I was too ill to speak so my extremely kind albeit misinformed sister continued believing all was well.