Sandra Borns glances at her husband, her expression a mix of surprise and concern. His head is bowed. His eyes glisten. His forehead rests on a bony hand.
“We’ve been married for over 60 years,” she says. “I’ve never seen Bob cry.”
But on this Thursday morning in April, perched on a wheelchair in the living room he thought he would never see again, Bob Borns tears up over and over. It mostly happens when he talks about how grateful he is. For his long life. For his loving family. For the nurses who helped him and Sandra fight off death.
“Angels without wings,” he calls them, over and over again. When their shifts ended, they promised the man some dubbed “Papa” that they would see him in the morning, that he would get better. He was “shocked,” he says, “that anybody would give a damn so much. And work so hard.”