Months To Years Fall 2018 Months To Years Fall 2018 - Page 57

It takes a lot of courage to face death the way these died almost 80 years ago, it’s an expression that means caretakers are facing it – daily, hourly, lovingly, sadly, enough, let me go. as they watch the people they love slipping away, some   quickly, some agonizingly slowly. Touching as these scenes were, they were not as heartbreaking for me as the many For a while he sat up, watching people go by on their way to lunch. He wants to go to the bathroom. This is a big rooms with no visitors. Mo was right; being abandoned at deal. It takes at least two people to get him there, and the end is a terrifying thought. all the staff are getting ready to take people to lunch.   He starts to push against the table and I ask him what’s because I was there he would come around and speak on in his head – but I realize he is trapped. The only way I wasn’t expecting much from my father. He had spoken no English for almost a week. For days, I thought that wrong. “TRAPPED” he says, clearly and decisively.  I’m struggling not to fall into trying to figure out what’s going English. I got annoyed with G. constantly focusing on out is to die, and he’s spent so many years fighting to stay whether he knows her, and how hard she tries to get him alive, it must be practically impossible for him to let go to speak English, but I was beginning to understand her now. It’s clearly no longer a conscious decision to live or frustration, disappointment and anguish over losing him. die.     like my dad. She tells me they’ve had lots of doctors as When he was finished with lunch, he was exhausted and patients and it’s clear to her they’re really smart; they just I was ravenous. I walked down the hallway, watching the used up too many brain cells being so smart. I really want idyllic San Diego sunshine pour through the windows, that to be true, but at the moment it’s worth everything making patterns on the perfectly polished linoleum floor. It just to hear myself laugh out loud. was his favorite kind of day. I picked up something on the   cafeteria line that looked like protein, tossed it down with a Robyn, the only African-American staff member on duty that day, has a theory about what’s happened to guys He insisted on feeding himself lunch, and spoke a little English – “Oh my youngest child, oh my youngest child”. The night before he had told me that he was happy to see glass of orange juice, and decided I should go sit with my me; today I’m trying just to be there with him and have father some more while I had the chance. that be enough.   When I got to the room, he was asleep. Restless, but He’s lost almost 20 pounds since the last time I saw him, asleep. I’ve spent so many hours with my dying friend seven pounds in the last week. Although they’re giving Jane, as she’s been slowly slipping away for three or him something to stimulate his appetite – which I find four years, that I have a pretty keen sense of nuance – nonsensical at this point – he’s only slightly more interested discomfort, real sleep, wet bed, bad dreams. Jane can in food than he’s been since mid-December. The strokes sleep through the wet bed pretty comfortably, even when that took his intellect also took his appetite. It’s strange for the other people in the room are miserable. But Mo begins me, because for the first time, Mo really looks like an old to rant in his sleep. man. He’s suddenly wizened, and he’s got the remnant of   a nasty bruise by his eye, acquired wrestling with one of the aides trying to get him into the bathroom. He has a really tough time with transitions – lying down to sitting up, sitting down to standing up, sleeping to waking,   living to dying. in something like Yiddish, something like babble – oyzega, it was clear she wished someone else had gotten this call. He gets extremely agitated in his sleep. It seems to coincide with altered breathing, and causes him to call out   I found a nurse to deal with the wet bed. She came in and aizaga… it’s a word he says over and over and over. It’s The Mo I knew all my life who could be supercilious and a street in Minsk, it’s his pet name for his mother who cloyingly, artificially sweet, was clearly gone. 57