My grandfather woke up from his coma on Wednesday. When we left on Tuesday, things weren't great, and the doctors were preparing us for the worst. But the next noon, the start of visiting hours in the I.C.U., my grandmother and I walked in, and she said, "Hi honey. Dara and I are here."
He opened his eyes, looked right at me, and said "Oh, hi Dara. How are you?" as if nothing had happened.
Nana and I were stunned. Happy, but stunned, nonetheless.
My mother cried when I told her the news. She had been calling in every morning waiting to hear if we needed her to find a flight back from Europe.
Still, things are pretty difficult. He can speak, but he's not entirely lucid. Sometimes he recognizes people, sometimes he doesn't. He has no concept of time. And until this afternoon, he had no idea what had happened to him -- but he did know that he was sick.
The family started going back on Wednesday, when they moved him out of the I.C.U. I flew back to D.C. this afternoon, figuring that things are well enough that my grandmother can manage -- hopefully with a little help from my sister. And if not, at least now I know that I really can be at my grandmother's front door in under five hours.
And, while I'm at it, thanks, everyone, for your kind thoughts.