Mains Family Secret Code

In the ICU with my brother, Jeremy. Been here with him through the night. He is hooked up to a ventilator. He is very frail. Very weal. At this point, his only form of communication is a squeeze of the hand or a shaky thumbs-up. A pastor was in here earlier praying for Jeremy in Spanish (which Jeremy speaks fluently). In the middle of his prayer,he stopped, looked up at me and said, “I think he understands me. He’s squeezing my hand”

The Mains family has always had our simple secret code that goes along with hand squeezes. Three short squeezes instantly conveys the message I LOVE YOU. For the longest time I thought every family knew this “code”. Angela told me she didn’t know it till she met Jeremy. My husband, Doug, had said the same. Like us, Jeremy and Angela have handed down this tradition to their children: 3 short squeezes always means I LOVE YOU. As I’ve been here comforting Jer through the night, I slip my hand into his and whisper. “Hi Jer, it’s Melissa. I’m right here. I’ll be with you throughout the night. You’re not alone. I’m praying for you.” Instantly, I feel my brother squeeze my hand 3 times. “I love you too, Jer. Love you too.”

~~ Melissa Mains-Timberlake

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