Dad with Band-Aids on his face

As a kid, I remember Dad emerging from the bathroom with Band-Aids stuck to his freshly shaven chin. “I nicked myself again,” he would sigh, and being squeamish at the sight of blood, he would slap on the first thing he could find. It was not always the ideal match. Sometimes he would be sporting the little round bandages, sometimes the skinny long ones. On the rare occasions of multiple shaving wounds, he would have a mix of bandages adorning his freshly shorn stubble. 

The last month of his life, Dad was in the CCU at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque. The nurse, a gregarious type who had called me in Atlanta to tell me that the doctor said keeping my dad on life support was futile, came in to shave my dad. My mom and I stepped out for lunch, and upon our return, the nurse rushed back into the room. “I’m so sorry,” she exclaimed.

Dad had a Band-Aid on his face, and a bit of dried blood could be seen around the edges.
“I accidentally cut him while shaving him,” the nurse said with great remorse.

Dad was unaware of the shaving snafu. He was under sedation and on a ventilator. I guess one could call it adding insult to injury, but considering everything Dad was going through at the time, floating somewhere between life and death, something with a simple fix like a shaving cut was almost a relief.

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