Months To Years Spring 2018 Months To Years Spring 2018 - Page 22

drank his water . I dove back into the covers and quickly fell back to sleep . Soon I was half conscious again , hearing Al ask again , “ Water — could you get me some water ?” I tried to avoid it . I was too comfortable in that bed . “ Go to sleep , Al . Get some sleep .” I didn ’ t get him the water this time .
Who knows how much later I awoke again to hear Al call my name , “ Jeanne , Jeanne .” This was unusual . He didn ’ t generally call me by my name . It seemed a little formal . I looked and discovered Al wasn ’ t on his side of the bed anymore . I got up fast and went to the bathroom where I found him sprawled on the white tile floor , his walker tilted at a crazy angle . He had fallen on his mission to get his own glass of water . I felt pretty bad about not getting up the last time he asked .
“ Help me up . I can ’ t get up .” His voice was small and weak . doorway of the bathroom and asked them to lift Al onto it . They did , and now I wanted Al to take his walker and move back to the bedroom .
But he sat there mute , his eyes wide open and staring at nothing , totally unresponsive to my increasing demands : “ Al ! Al ! You have to get up ! Get up !”
“ I think he had a stroke ,” one of the officers said . She radioed for the EMT ’ s .
“ Al ! Al !” I was annoyed , yelling at him , not comprehending that in those moments of being lifted and put in the chair , he had died . I certainly didn ’ t realize it at the time , or I wouldn ’ t have yelled . But now I look back and think , that was the moment he was gone . Minutes before and he ’ d been on the floor and we ’ d been discussing how to get him up . Now he was silent , staring , absolutely still , propped on the sturdy wooden chair I had provided .
“ Okay . Let me see what I can do .” I was matter-offact . I ’ d been through situations like this before . I set about assessing the problem . But after I tried 2 or 3 different ways of picking him up , I felt defeat . With bones protruding , he was terribly thin from the effects of the cancer . Still I couldn ’ t lift him . I paced around the secondfloor hallway , thinking what I could do . I saw the phone in the study and figured my only option was 911 .
“ I need help lifting my husband . He ’ s fallen and he can ’ t get up . I can ’ t lift him . He ’ s sick .”
The business-like voice : “ How old is your husband , ma ’ am ?”
“ 81 ,” I told her .
“ We ’ ll send someone out .”
When the EMT ’ s arrived , they laid him on the secondfloor landing and went to work . They quizzed me quickly on his medical history , then told the officers to get me out of there . So , I went downstairs . I waited , sitting in the blue velvet rocker in the living room . I wasn ’ t crying or even very upset . I didn ’ t understand that Al had died — even when an EMT came downstairs and asked me , “ Does he have a ‘ do not resuscitate ’ order ?” I knew he had a living will , but I impulsively told the EMT , “ Do all you can .”
Then came a long period of silent waiting — rocking back and forth , not crying , not upset , calm . I was thinking , this is it , this is his time . We ’ d been together 30 years . I sat there rocking and remembering — our trysts at his apartment , our backyard wedding , our year living in Italy . But I also remembered other nights when he ’ d come home so late with only the thinnest excuses for where he ’ d been . Those years were not all easy ones .
When the two police officers arrived , one male , one female , I directed them to the second-floor bathroom . I was very calm . I figured they would pick him up and all would be well . I positioned a sturdy wooden chair in the
The officers stood flanking the front door , silent , impassive . I invited them to sit , but they declined , saying they sat a lot in their job . I wondered what they thought of me , so calm , not crying . I feared they may have thought I didn ’ t
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drank his water.  I dove back into the covers and quickly doorway of the bathroom and asked them to lift Al onto fell back to sleep.  Soon I was half conscious again, it.  They did, and now I wanted Al to take his walker and hearing Al ask again, “Water—could you get me some move back to the bedroom. water?”  I tried to avoid it.  I was too comfortable in that       bed.  “Go to sleep, Al.  Get some sleep.”  I didn’t get him But he sat there mute, his eyes wide open and staring the water this time. at nothing, totally unresponsive to my increasing demands: “Al!  Al!  You have to get up!  Get up!” Who knows how much later I awoke again to hear Al call      my name, “Jeanne, Jeanne.”  This was unusual.  He didn’t “I think he had a stroke,” one of the officers said.  She generally call me by my name.  It seemed a little formal.  radioed for the EMT’s. I looked and discovered Al wasn’t on his side of the bed      anymore.  I got up fast and went to the bathroom where I “Al!  Al!”  I was annoyed, yelling at him, not found him sprawled on the white tile floor, his walker tilted comprehending that in those moments of being lifted at a crazy angle.  He had fallen on his mission to get his and put in the chair, he had died.  I certainly didn’t own glass of water.  I felt pretty bad about not getting up realize it at the time, or I wouldn’t have yelled.  But now I the last time he asked. look back and think, that was the moment he was gone.  Minutes before and he’d been on the floor and we’d been discussing how to get him up.  Now he was silent, staring, “Help me up.  I can’t get up.”  His voice was small and absolutely still, propped on the sturdy wooden chair I had weak. provided. “Okay.  L ]YHYH]H[˸'pH\X]\[ًH[HSU8&\\]Y ^HZY[HۈHXۙ BX x&YY[Y]X][ۜZH\YܙKH]܈[[[[ܚ˰^H]Z^YYH]ZXBX]\\[H؛[K]Y\HYY ܈ ۈ\YYX[\ܞK[HٙX\]YH]Y\[^\وX[[H\ H[YX] ]ۙ\و\KH[ۜZ\˰HZ]Y ][[HYBY[H\\XH[HHYXوH[]\[H][KH\۸&]ܞZ[܈][[\[H[&]Y[KHXY\[HXۙ H\H\] HY&][\[][YYY8%][܈[^K[[]H[˰H]HۙH[[[SU[YHۜZ\[\YYK8'\BHYH[Y\Y^HۛH[ۈ\LLK]HH8&\\]]x&Hܙ\'pHۙ]HYH][[ ]H[\[][HHSU 8'[[H['B'HYY[Y[^H\ؘ[ x&\[[[H[&]]\ H[&]Y[Kx&\X˸'B[[YHHۙ\[و[[Z][%[X˜[ܝ ܞZ[\] [KH\[[H\[\[ZHXN8'\[\\ؘ[ \\] \\\[YKx&YY[]\ YX\˰0BXx&X[O'H]\H[[[Y[X\[%\\]\°000\\Y[ \XX\Y[\YX\][[][K' K8'HH\]H[[Y[X\Y\Y[x&YYHYB000]H]ۛHH[\^\\܈\Hx&YY['x&[[Y[ۙH] 'HHYX\\H[X\Hۙ\˂000[HXHٙX\\]Y ۙHX[KۙHHٙX\[[H۝܋[[ [\\]K[X[KH\XY[HHXۙ Y܈]KHH[]Y[H] ]^HX[Y ^Z[^H]B\\H[KHY\Y^H[X[H\[[[Z\؋Hۙ\Y]^HYوYK[H[ H][ۙYH\H[Z\[H[KܞZ[˰HX\Y^HX^H]HYHY&]