Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Lisa Again (Funky Winkerbean)

When Lisa dies, it will be with the memory of the colors of fall emblazoned across her mind and heart.

After my mother and youngest brother were killed in the car accident, my surviving younger brother and I spent two weeks in the hospital before I was released -- good to go with a cast from ankle to thigh and a dramatic surgical scar down my middle -- and he was moved to a major medical center for the work that would restore his shattered elbow.

Hospital care was very, very different in 1960 from what it is today. Nurses in starched white dresses. No playrooms or child life specialists. I guess our child life specialist was Melinda, the young and beautiful morning shift nurse who tried so hard to create a sense of cheer in our room. (It definitely wasn't Mrs. Starr, the rigidly upright night nurse whom I was afraid to ask for a glass of water.) Visitors were limited to immediate family. I remember that one evening my aunt and uncle brought our cousins to visit; they all waved up at us from the hospital lawn, and we waved back from the window.

And I remember touring down the hall one afternoon in my wheelchair to look out the long corner window at the yellow leaves. I remember that as clearly as if it were yesterday, and so I'm glad Les lied to Lisa about the leaves today.

7 comments:

Jan said...

Oh, GG, thank you for writing about your yellow leaves. Thank you for the link to Funky's cartoon. I'm glad he lied about the yellow leaves, too. It's real in our minds, as tears come to my eyes.

Lovie said...

I've never read Funky Winkerbean and I didn't lose a parent when I was a child, but your post did bring back memories. I remember a hospitalized mother who we waved at from the lawn and I remember being in the hospital myself and the lovely nurse who tried so hard to make an unpleasant situation as good as she could.

Kathryn J said...

I cried when I read that comic strip. It is interesting how some images imprint indelibly and others are more elusive. We don't always get to choose.

Katherine E. said...

Reading this, I so admire who you've become, GG, and I really ache for the little GG in that hospital room.

"PS" said...

I am going to catch up on Funky Winkerbean. I was so touched by his response...and your story.

Mrs. M said...

The lump in my throat hurt like hell, Gannet.

Mr. M and I have a strict rule: we don't watch movies where a spouse dies. Now I have to add comic strips.

LawAndGospel said...

I have following this journey of yours in tandem with Funky Winkerbean and you have eloquently captured layers of sentiment.
BTW on a lighter note, I tagged you so stop over to my site for a moment of levity. In the meantime I know this is a time of watershed moments for you.