It was heart wrenching to receive a phone call from a friend who had to stand between her two brothers in the hospital waiting room last night. Her two brothers were ready to fight outside of the Intensive Care Unit where their mother lay on a ventilator. For three days my friend's family gathered as they heard the news of her weakening condition.
My grandmother asked me to stay with her until it's over, and I can only think of a few reasons she'd ask me: She knows I'll talk about anything and won't mince words; she knows I will do anything for her if I'm able; and she knows I can be a calming presence. It took me a very long time to become a calming presence; it's still a daily practice.