We walked to the elevator in silence.
He was still dressed in his work suit. Doctor ID clipped to his tie, he carried his famous straw hat in his hand.
The elevator doors close and he turns to me.
"I've been here nearly 60 times in the last three days..."
He thinks to himself a moment.
"...it's tiring, you know?"
He fidgets with his hat and turns to face forward.
After a moment of silence he looks towards the ground and then back to the ceiling while saying to no one in particular,
"I don't know what's going to happen..."
What do you say to a man who's wife appears to be dying?
What do you say to a man who's been strong (so much stronger than I felt I've been) for the past year--seemingly confident that everything will be alright--and now....and now a year later, seems to be losing hope by the hour?
I stared at the ground unsure of what to say...a part of me in fear that I would break into a million pieces on the spot.
So, she's finally alert and talkative. She seems to be more with it now than she has in the past several months.
However, she looks like she's dying.
But nevertheless, her husband takes his daily trips to see her.
He talks to her in an upbeat voice, trying to bring out the woman he fell in love with over 50 years ago.
She smiles at him as best she can. She listens to his stories.
And at the end of the day, he walks out with his head down, his heart sinking, with his straw hat in hand.
Wake, wake, wake her
From this sea of white linens and
Extract the drugs from her dreams
And sew her seams with delicateness,
'Cause beneath her chest sits the heart that I live for,
You'd kill for,
The angels would die for.
I've gone to see her for the last few days.
At work on Friday my mom called to tell me that she had the tubes taken out of her throat and she was sitting up smiling...all of her daughters were there keeping her company.
I think that last time my mother and her sisters were in the same company was Christmas.
Maybe this will teach all of them to put aside their petty BS and get along.
I sped over after work.
Her face was ashen, but her skin was warm.
She smiled at me, "Hi honey".
Her voice is breathy, very breathy.
She has an oxygen tube attached to her nose.
They say this may be permanent when she goes home.
I hold her hand so tight.
I think I lasted a whole 5 minutes before I burst into tears.
"It'll be okay" she breathed.
"You SCARED me!"
I choked through tears.
"You really scared me....I wasn't ready...NONE of us are ready."
"Well, I can't live forever!" she had told my mom earlier.
"Yea, but you can try" I sob.
I don't want to let her hand go.
I want to hug her tight and take off all the wires.
I want her home in her chair, watching her shows.
I want her breathing on her own.
I want her alive.
She offhandedly says she's hungry.
With a lot of coaxing I'm able to make the nurses understand she needs food.
They come back with two cups of cookies, a tuna sandwich, hot tea, a plate of fruit, and some crumb cake.
I am pleased.
I try to stay as long as I can, but I know that if I don't leave, I'll stay all night.
Today I saw her and her voice was almost completely normal.
Strong and solid. 80 years of life, and 60 of them spent raising 6 kids and 10 grandchildren.
I breathe a little easier...I can tell she's a day stronger.
Her hands are shaky though...her face is still ashen.
I still feel like crying.
My sister's presence allows me to hold it in.
We talk a little but mostly are quiet, watching tv.
She says we don't have to stay.
Our uncle is hosting a big party in this storm.
She is very very sad that she can't be there...as she's mentioned it the past two days.
I don't want to leave.
She's more important than the party.
My grandfather comes.
He is sick and stressed.
So much on his mind.
But he still makes his quips.
We smile through the worry.
We are all overwhelmed.
Praying every day that this isn't over.
I'm a mess.
A complete mess.
I can't imagine time without her.
It kills me inside.
Please come home soon Nonna.
Please be better, please be you.