Thursday, June 5, 2014

This Evening (again)

one of my favorites of the many photos of Dan that his friends have been posting on his Facebook page

Rise and fall. Rise and fall. We sit in the living room watching the rise and fall of Dan's chest. We look up from our books or magazines, our laptops or our phones. We all have something we are doing as we wait, yet we all see the changes and ask one another, is the breath more shallow? Is he breathing faster now? Was that a pause?

Hum of the fan. Hiss and sigh of the oxygen machine.

A little later we set up a bed in the front hallway for Dan's oldest sister. Ready another bed in the garage for a dear friend from the Bay Area who has decided to come back down. I pull out blankets for the other sister and her husband who will camp out on the couch. My mother, thank god, has gone to bed. Every time she tells me I have to be strong or hold it together, I say, no I don't. That I'm just going to go ahead and be sad. 

Hum. Hiss and sigh. Breathe in. Breathe out. Dan's breath now seems more like...like what?

At least we are well fed. When my friend E called and asked if she could come, I told her yes. Yes, please, tell me what we should eat, I said, and help me with my mother. She brought the fixings for chili, and sat in my mom's room with her for quite a while. She sat with her at dinner, and stood over the iPad with her afterwards reading and taking about something.

Now the rest of us sit, transfixed--and then not as we go back to reading or scrolling or typing. We sit breathing, waiting for Dan's last breath. So many "lasts" have already occurred. They stole by us, unannounced. No fingers on the strings of his bass. No more walking. No "Hi baby." No singing. No kisses. Better not to know, perhaps, when the last of these things occurs in anyone's life. How would we bear it?



7 comments:

S Kay Murphy said...

Oh my god, I love this photo. Why do I put off playing my guitar? What if the last time I played it was the last time I ever played it? What if saying good-by to my daughter tonight was the last time I'll ever say it? I didn't hug her. Why didn't I hug her? We were rushing. Why are we always rushing? What could possibly be more important than reaching out in this moment when everything is ok, when we're both well and happy, to hug and feel the love that's right there in the moment?

ain't for city gals said...

Try not to wait for it...there is no going back. I think Dan will be like my dad ...he will slip away while no one is looking. Thinking of you today and wishing you peace...

lily cedar said...

I sat with my mother as she lay dying, sadly in a hospital instead of at home. I shut off her oxygen and I turned off the IV pump. I told the nurses to go away. The one thing I regret is that I didn't crawl into bed with her and hold her. I wish I had.

I'm glad Dan has you and is surrounded by those who love him.

Ms. Moon said...

And in dying, he is teaching you (and us too) how to live.

Elsewhere said...

Thank god you have the strenght to be sad. love

37paddington said...

This is such a holy vigil. There is so much love in the room for Dan. Is there any better way to go?

Suz said...

such a home of blessings
prayers and hugs for you all