Smiles were not as rare there as one would believe. There were smiles after a hopeful visit to the ICU. Then there were times someone would visit and a smile would light up the face of a person who had been sitting alone for hours. Of course, there were smiles of leaving the ICU with the patient feeling better. But the last ones were not seen much besides quick adieus to the bonds made sitting there, because of all the paperwork, etc. needed and then being busy in another part of the hospital.
His smile was different. She had been in and out of hospitals for almost two years.
There were times when the preparedness of certain individuals in that ICU waiting room would surprise you. He was one of those. The preparedness was sad after he told us how long it had taken him to be this prepared.
He knew the end was coming. Unlike most people there, he would rarely talk about what was wrong with her, what the doctor said that day, et al. He would talk about their shared good times. But his expression was always exhausted, defeated, and sad.
And then that day, a rare joyful expression. Just after all of us were back after the evening ICU visits.
She had recognized him after days. It was after a joyful goodbye.