Friday night, I went up to the hospital to sit with Dad and give Mom a break. I brought up the Viking’s voice recorder. Before I could make it up to the hospital room, I ended up in a bathroom stall taking deep breaths and texting the Viking for encouragement. I know it sounds pathetic, but if you’ve been there, you know.
The Viking sent me this picture of the teapot and cozy we ordered and got in the mail to cheer me up:
I finally made it up to the room, sent my mom off to rest, and sat quietly with Dad.
He hadn’t eaten much in six days and hadn’t been awake or alert much in several days. I found a clear moment and asked him if he minded if I recorded him talking, especially about how much he loves my mom. He looked at me for a few seconds, then he asked in a quiet voice, “Are you expecting me to pass soon?”
“Dad, you haven’t eaten in six days,” was all I could bring myself to answer. He got quiet. I was sure he had fallen asleep. About ten minutes passed before he turned off the television and turned to me.
“I’ve been thinking about what you said, and I’ve decided I’m not going to pass tonight or anytime soon.”
“Okay, good, then you have to eat.” That night he let me help him eat a few bites of dinner. Saturday morning, he woke up and ate almost all of his breakfast. It wore him out so bad he had to take a nap.
Later in the afternoon:
“I’m trying to clear my head so we can have one of our talks. I miss our talks,” he told me when he woke up.
“I miss our talks, too, Dad.”
That night I got several minutes of recording. We talked. He ate dinner. He slept. Sunday morning, he woke up and ate even more. He got help getting out of bed and into the hospital recliner. He bitched about everything. I left Sunday afternoon. I haven’t been back since. I’ve, as per usual, gotten some bug. The Viking gave it to me, and it has some stomach nastiness with it, so I’ve decided not to bring it up to a hospital. Monday, I’m going to go see him again. I won’t have stop in the bathroom to calm myself.
Because he decided to eat.