Monday, January 29, 2007
Otherwise, I might've thrown myself under a truck.
Not really. But it was not a real good day.
It's Dr. ER's birthday! But I've already given her her presents and her cards and we went out to a nice supper Saturday night, and not planning on her being here today, I feel funny because I have nothing for her -- but we *are* fixing to go eat Chinese food.
Mama seemed "there" some of the time I was with her today, but "not there" most of the time. She was sitting up when I got there, and she sat up for several hours. She had her teeth in, but they don't fit right since she went without them for so long.
The nurse said she was wide-eyed this morning, but she was looking at me through beady eyes. I know she is frustrated in a way I can only imagine because she can't talk -- and I'm afraid of what she might say if she could.
There was a "Code Blue" today -- first I've heard after 60-plus days on spending anywhere from an hour to several hours a day at the hospital. Come to think of it, I think that was what made me realized I was sad today. But, I don't know how it turned out.
One time before Christmas as Dr. ER and I were leaving the hospital -- and I haven't told anybody this, so, sorry brother and sisters -- we saw two guys wheeling out a dead person, someone completely covered in a sheet. It was startling, to say the least.
I find myself growing jealous of people I overhear in the hallways and waiting rooms -- those whose loved ones are getting better by leaps and bounds.
About Isaiah 55: 12. The verse is on the wall of the lobby, in a real soothing kind of font, and I have thought of it often since Nov. 30, the fiorst day I saw it, the day Mama ER arrived here so far from her home and so far from her comforts and routines.
Here it is. It took me forever to find because it's from the New Jerusalem Bible, a Catholic translation, which apparently is not on-line! I'm typing it in from the Bible I bought Dr. ER (at her request) for Christmas:
Yes, you will go out with joy
and be led away in safety.
Mountains and hills will break into joyful cries before you
and all of the trees of the countryside clap their hands.
Now, it has its context, but whatever. It's a beautiful idea, expressed beautifully, and in a totally appropriate place, since most of the people, by far, who wind up in this particularly hospital, do, in fact, "go out with joy."
I've been very careful not to let myself believe that it will apply to Mama ER. Or so I thought. Maybe I have let myself be too hopeful for my own emotional good.
It occurred to me today: The sentiment might also be there for the likes of me -- for family members who find themselves spending hours and hours and days and days at the bedside of the one they love.
There is no doubt in my mind that I have been there for her, and that y'all all have been praying for her, and for all of us. And that is a cause for joy -- the only one I can think of at this particular moment.
The post I entered over at my place a few days ago about Garrison Avenue?
There's a back-story to that. I talked about my friends Jim and Mary Jane beginning their journey together with a walk along the Avenue.
They didn't know each other. Jim mentioned that he was headed for Washington DC in a few days and would Mary Jane like to go with him. She said, "Sure." like they were going on back down to Old Town.
And thus began their lives together.
The point is that in August, Jim was diagnosed with, of all things, bile duct cancer. One in a thousand get such an awful thing.
After a follow-up visit to MD Anderson last week, he came home to be comfortable.
Jim is so talented. He re-built half of Garrison during the revitalization boom in the 70s and 80s. One brother is famed New York illustrator Brad Holland. Another brother just released his first book last summer -- Thomas Holland runs the lab in Hawaii that id's fallen American soldiers anywhere and everywhere in the world. Tom wrote a book called, "One Drop of Blood." Simon & Schuster published it last summer. Great mystery stuff. Bettern' Grisham. Next book comes out May this year.
Sorry for going a long way around to tell you how much I needed that passage from Isaiah.
Mama ER seems like a fabulous lady. Jim is one of the most talented men I've ever met. I hope Mama ER does the full pull.