...I think I really understand the meaning of this expression now. I drove home last night with one. Mom's surgery, in the words of her oncologist, went well. The mass was larger than we expected. This, of course, brings its own set of worries, but also hope that the pain she's been in for the last few months was caused by that and now, at the very least, the pain will be gone.
I forgot how hard recovery is. How hard it is to watch someone who has been the strong one, for you, for so long, not be the strong one. Role reversal is never an easy thing.
...Another expression I now understand the true meaning of is, "Cool as a cucumber." That would be my mom's surgeon. We got a call in the waiting room around when her surgery was supposed to start that they were running about 30 minutes late. We came to find out later that it was because the surgeon had been driving to the hospital when a tree fell 150 feet in front of his car. A big tree, which he hit. He called his wife, who met him at the accident, then he took her car, and came to the hospital to perform mom's surgery.
If that shows up on Grey's Anatomy, they stole the plot from me (I know the producers read my blog). Yes, there's a reason he's a surgeon. And there's a reason his wife is a surgeon's wife.