I got my vaccination for Joe. He was stubborn and had not wanted to go to the hospital. I held his hand and listened to him struggle to breathe. He asked if he could go home. I know he loved me, but he didn’t recognize me.
Sitting beside his ICU bed in my “space suit” and mask, I adjusted his nasal cannula. The doctors had already told us. I could only fuss with his blankets, try not to let him see me cry, and wait. Telling my children was the hardest part. Then I planned a funeral for a man who was cherished by so many more than the 10 permitted to attend. We buried Joe on the day of the Christmas star.
A few days later, I was offered the vaccine. The timing seemed so painfully unfair that I almost said no. Maybe though, if enough of us get the vaccine it will spare others. I got my vaccination for Joe—and for everyone who has a Joe they love.
~Contributed by a Pittsburgh Mercy registered nurse