When I catch up with people it's always a fairly predictable exchange. They ask 'Hey, how's it going? How's work? Did you see the game?' Normal everyday chitchat sort of stuff. My mumbled responses usually receive a polite smile in return. I imagine most people's small talk is pretty similar. Over the years I have noticed a pattern in these little chats. There is a change that occurs which shifts the conversation from being quick pleasantries to something more meaningful. These conversations usually change tone when I'm asked: 'And how is Jo?' It changes because I can see genuine interest. I know that a mumbled, superficial answer isn't what they are after. I see the expressions of people who ask and they are faces of genuine concern.
I try my best to respond honestly. When I say she is struggling a bit, people usually express their disappointment by wincing and shaking their head. They don't like that she is doing things tough. When I say she is doing well it makes people happy. Their eyes brighten and their smiles beam (I'm not trying to be poetic here, it literally happens this way). It's amazing to me that people feel so happy and relieved that she is doing well. The contrast in these responses are day and night yet they both show me how much people genuinely care for Jo.
The surgery that she had today was tough on her but it went better than we had anticipated. She had some of her broken rods and screws removed but her surgeon could see that she had some bone development which means that her spine is finally fusing. She is in the intensive care unit today, obviously very sore, but in good spirits. The hospital staff are amazing and are making a challenging process as smooth as it can be. So far there have been no major complications which is a miracle in itself. She is awake and aware most of the time and is able to control her own pain medication. I'm so proud of her, when I first saw her after the surgery a small smile came across her face and later in the day I even managed to get a little chuckle out of her!
Thank you all for you support.