It was over a week already, time to remove the stitches off my belly. I was all happy, actually, I was beginning to eat and swallow, not too much and hard food, either. For instance, any meats, beans or tortillas, which was one of my favorite things to eat, my stomach wasn’t strong enough to handle it yet. I was improving and that was what mattered to me. In those days I started to get off the bed and walked a little bit, I was hoping to heal soon and get out of there. Time kept running, and I’m getting better and better every day. I was in fact scheduled to go home, yes, you heard me right, go home! It was Thursday, July third, a day before the Independence day, a doctor came to me to do his regular check ups. He said, “Mr. Ramirez, because you’re doing so good, there’s no reason to keep you here any longer, you’re going home Monday”, July seventh. I was immensely happy to hear that, I could’t believe it. My gladness was letting the emotions showing up, and my eyes started watering and dripping tears down my cheeks, but this time of happiness, a giant smile was drawn in my face. I have to do a check up on you, the doctor added. I was so tickle that I didn’t minded. He checked my heart rate, my breathing, my whole body. Suddenly, he spotted a big bruised formed in my right side above my hip; it was huge, and every time he squeezed it, oh-gee!! it hurt. It was an infection, he explain, we need to applied surgery to extract all the bad liquid that is inside causing you trouble. Stayed calm, he told me, it will be a very small operation, just to insert a little plastic tube to absorb the juice, and we will be done. It doesn’t change anything, you still can leave on Monday.

Around 5:00 in the afternoon, some medical staff came for me to take me to the surgery room, When, my brother-in-law stepped in the room and found me in the stretcher bed. “Where do you go, pancho!? where do you guys are taking him? Is there something wrong or something bad happened?” he bombarded us with questions. No brother-in-law, nothing is wrong! I replied back. Well, they found an infection in my right side, but it’s nothing to preoccupied, they just have to insert a little something to absorb the bad blood inside. So, I didn’t think it was necessary to alert anyone and make them to worry about it for no reason. He calmed down after find out that there was nothing wrong with me and agree not to let my sister, his wife, know about it. They took me to the surgery room and promptly put me under anesthesia. I fell asleep, and they proceeded with their job. I don’t know how long it took. When I wake up I was already back into my room with a drainage thing hanging on my right side. It was already night time, so my brother-in-law had left home awhile ago. I was still drowsy from the anesthesia, so I just closed my eyes and kept sleeping until the next day.

The following dawn,  a nurse’s assistant interrupted my sleep to take my vital signs, then, I had small breakfast pancakes with syrup! and got off the bed to go for walk around the hallway. It was Friday fourth of July, I spent it wandering around the hallways, once I got tired I lay down, and later on I got up again and continue my journey. Around 9pm I went to the window to watch the fireworks from the hospital, many patients and their families began to gather, as well to see the lights displayed. Boom, boom! The fireworks started to fill the sky of brightness, marvelous colors and stunning shapes. Wow, wow! Can you see that? It’s amazing! looked at that one, I can’t believe how beautiful it looks. everybody there were shouting their amazement. I was listening to them saying that words of enthusiasm, but I did not understand none of them, I just thought to myself, whatever they were saying must be good, because of their face’s expressions. So, even though, I couldn’t understand, I was having fun enjoying watching the show and the people, with my IV pool aside like a “weapon”. The artificial lights kept going for about 15 to 20 minutes more. After they finished,  everyone return to their dormitories, and their relatives went home. I went to bed and tried to sleep too, but I couldn’t, my mind was so restless, all I thought was about Monday! my big day. I didn’t sleep that night, I was very very excited. I used to say to myself, “when I get out of here,  I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do that and be over here and over there, and why not, tried to be a better human being this time, since my God gave me one more chance to live.

Monday arrived, finally, after a long weekend waiting for it. I got off the bed bright and early hoping to go home as soon as possible. However, there was a nurse who spoke Spanish. She told me, I wouldn’t be discharged until the afternoon. I asked, why not now? “Because the person who does that it’s not here yet, and your family is not able to come for you at this time. Oh-well!, better late than never, I remarked and walked down to the hallway. I walked down, walked back up to the room, took a glance to the clock hanging on the wall hoping to see the handles advanced quickly, but they seemed to run backwards, instead. I was just anxious to get out of there, I guess!, and because of that I felt an eternity to be waiting a little while longer. I laid down and get up, laid down and get up, and so on and on until the time to left the hospital finally hit the spot. Around four o’clock my brother-in-law arrived for me. He and I signed a couple papers, the medical staff gave me some recommendations, took me out in a wheelchair to the vehicle, and my brother-in-law and I climb in to the auto and head to Sonoma.

We got home nice and safely. My sister was working that day; fortunately, I have such a wonderful sister, she requested to get off a little earlier just to take care her little brother, how about that!. She got home a couple hours later and made dinner for her family and me. That was a difficult decision, because she did not know what to cook for me, as I was just release from the hospital. My stomach was very weak yet to eat whatever, I wasn’t hungry anyways, I explain to her. She said, are you saying to leave you without dinner until tomorrow morning? Are you nuts! You know I won’t do that, I’ll figure something out, so don’t say that again. I told her, okay sister do whatever you think is good for me. Rapidly, she cooked something very simple, simple but delicious, chicken noodle soup. Everyone sat down and eat, my sister, her husband and my nephews, two nephews and one niece. I glanced once in awhile to their plates, because they had something different than me. They had grilled steak, refried beans, tortillas and hot sauce. I thought even though mine was okay, theirs were better looking and maybe, just maybe, tastier. We finished dining and went to take a seat on the couch for a little while just to digest. We were speaking of many stuff and adventures we had in our lives. After about 30 minutes I decide to go to bed, my nephew yield me his bedroom that night, because it was right next door to my sister’s one, so she could keep an eye on me…….

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