“It’s your turn, Grandpa.”



The white board behind the hospital bed read HOH.  

I turned to our family medical expert, “Hey Jill, what does HOH stand for?”

“Hard of hearing.”

“Ohhhh!”  I responded, pausing our exit.  I headed straight for the white board, picked up the pen and began to write.”

“What are you doing, now?” my Dad asked.

I read as I wrote under HOH (or, as his family calls him, deaf as a doorknob, or just plain deaf 🙂

“The nurses are gonna love that!”  my Dad chuckled as we said our final goodbyes.  

I held back the tears and laughed.

The diagnosis of amyloidosis of the heart wall comes with a grim prognosis.  After a long summer of sleepless nights, coughing, various levels of fluid build up, and few trips to his cardiologist, my father was finally admitted to the Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  He spent three weeks in the care of incredibly talented, caring nurses and doctors.  When we left that day, the HOH day, I was uncertain, uneasy but yet hopeful.  I knew this hospital had repaired his heart before and if anyone could give him another chance, the Brigham could.  I left with hope because I knew he was where he needed to be.

Yesterday was Christmas.  We hosted a gaggle of fourteen.  We ate, we drank, we opened presents, we laughed by the fire, and we ate some more.  After saying goodbye to our final local guests, I went upstairs thankful to turn in my Christmas garb for my comfies.

I came back downstairs and walked into the kitchen to see my youngest, Megan, and my Dad setting up a game of Sequence.  I walked right by and remembered the last time they had played was four months ago at the Brigham.  On that day, I wasn’t sure they would have a chance to play again but here they were, on Christmas night, in my kitchen playing, together.

The Brigham gave him a parting gift of a pacemaker and defibrillator, but no hearing aid, and that’s just fine with us.

“You beat me, Megan! I’ll get you next time!”




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