Some would say that it's not the nicest thing to call your best friend a devil as she struggles to endure the pain of her recent surgery - but we've all got to do what we've got to do.
Stella is not feeling heroic. She's in a great deal of pain, completely and totally understandable pain.
And so, last night, as I read her some of the emails that have come in about her, she shook her head. "I don't feel heroic," she said.
I explained to her why she is such a hero and how she has inspired and impressed so many, etc. But I know, for now, it's falling on deaf ears.
And that's ok.
But I wanted to share two "Stella" stories that show, as usual, what an amazing character she has and why she is a rock star.
When I first went to see Stella after the surgery, she had been post op for about 24 hours. I really wasn't sure what I was going to find. But there she was in the bed, looking just like the Stella that I had left the day before (minus some body parts and plus some tubes).
I sat down and started to read my book, while I watched her sleep.
When she finally woke at one point, she turned to me and said, "How's your mom's visit going."
"How's my mom's visit going?" I said with a chuckle of disbelief. "Really? Those are your first words to me post op?" (OK - so they are better than her first words to Yarden, but still...)
"Yes," she said, blowing off my incredulity. "How's it going?"
And that's Stella.
Then, much to her absolute protestation, I spent the night last night. She didn't want me to do so because she said it would keep me from getting a good night sleep, it would keep me from my job, etc. etc. etc.
Ignoring her, I showed up at the hospital around 7 pm, as she finished an incredibly difficult afternoon.
The evening passed without incident and I helped her to change positions, to get up for the bathroom and to get the medicine she needed. She and I went to sleep sometime after 11. At 1:00 she woke me, saying that her emergency button to the nurses' station wasn't working and that she needed some medicine.
As I got up to get it she said (I swear, almost with a giggle in her voice), "I'm so glad you've gotten some sleep. I went to the bathroom twice without you and was so happy to see you sleeping."
That's when the devil comment came into play.
"You WHAT?!" I said. "You devil! Would you please wake me when you need to get up!"
"Oh," she said, with a sound of victory in her voice. "It was so nice to see you getting some rest."