Last week my BIL had to have a pretty major surgery (removing his kidney) and I have since reflected on our unique family reunions during hospitalizations.
Let me preface this by saying that we have never had any truly major tragedies in the extended family but we have had some pretty serious hospitalizations.
Whenever a member of the family is in the hospital (including giving birth) any family member within a 150 mile radius-if possible-gathers and we stake out a corner of the family waiting room for our little party. Years ago when my MIL had her fractured hip repaired, we had popcorn, soda, card games and had a riproaring good time visiting and telling jokes. When the surgeon (who I happened to work for) came out to tell us the status of our dear mother-he said, "hey, it's a party-can I come?"
Gathering like this during stressful times has brought a measure of comfort-my own Bubba D has had two major operations and having family there really helped-
But last week while we were waiting, dear old Grandpa dropped in and when he found out that the surgeon was the same one who had done surgery on him a few years back he said, "Oh that dang doctor messed me up turrible!" (he says at the top of his lungs)
My poor SIL's face goes pale. There is deathly silence.
"Yeah," he says, "messed me up so I can't do that sex thang anymore!" (he says at the top of his lungs)
The air whooshes out of everyone's lungs.
The color in my SIL's face comes back.
There is a loud explosion of laughter.
P.S. BIL's surgery went great!
P.P.S.S. Key: BIL-brother-in-law, SIL-sister-in-law, MIL-mother in law