His body language screamed "I'm tired."
His eyes were swollen and red and he looked sad.
These were all signs of a caregiver who was going through a rough time.
In his arms he clutched a stack of books and a few notebooks too. He held them tightly so they wouldn't drop on the elevator floor.
It was just the two of us so I said, "Looks like you'll be doing a lot of reading today?" He glanced my way and said, "OH, I get so tired just sitting by the bed and it's so hard to read just one book, so I have a variety with me today." "I'm not sure I can even read today."
I told him that I understood exactly what he was saying. The days are long at the cancer center, especially when you're sitting by the bed and can't really do much to help, but I told him it was important to be there, to show support and love.
He shook his head in agreement, rearranging the books in his arms as he shuffled out of the elevator. He turned around and looked at me, smiled and said "I hope your day will be better than mine." And he was gone.
A stack of books and a tired man facing another day of care giving in cancer world.