Friday, January 06, 2006

Vaya Con Dios

On Friday, December 29, we got a voice mail from Joe. It said to please call as soon as we could. I hung up the phone and looked at the Man. He said cautiously "what is it?" I told him it was Joe. I said "this is it. this is the call. you have to call him back now." The Man couldn't do it. Instead, he called Joe the next morning. Joe said "Brother, I'm going into Hospice on Monday." I do not know the rest of the conversation. The Man couldn't stop sobbing long enough to tell me. But, he didn't have to...

On Tuesday, we packed our bags and drove like bats outta hell to my SIL's house. She lives in the same city as Joe and Jane. Jane, Joe's wife, asked if we could visit on Wednesday. Of course we can. Wednesday morning, we drank a truckload of Starbuck's and went. We didn't know what to expect. Jane said "the tumors are everywhere and he won't be able to carry on a conversation."

We arrived to a beautiful facility. Each room is very large and homey. There is an eight foot window seat in his room, along with a wing-back chair and a love seat. There are large book cases and a beautiful amoire. Joe is sleeping. He opens his eyes and he is startled to see me. He says in a barely audible voice "Where is the Man?" I tell him he's outside smoking. He smiles and says something I don't understand. Jane says "he wants to know if you are smoking". I said, "no, not today." He said "how long?" Joe knows that I have quit smoking a million times. He smiles when I say "four months". His eyes shut and he goes wherever the morphine takes him.

We stayed all night. It was horrific and beautiful. I got to say the things that I needed to say to him. The Man got to stand by his best friend during the worst of times. Jane got to take a nap. The doctor put Ritalin in Joe's IV so he could stay alert enough to watch his team in the Rose Bowl. He didn't get to see much, but he got to see his team win in the final two minutes of the game. He smiled. I can't blog about the rest of it. Not right now. But I will.

I will probably post my five strange things tomorrow. I will need comic relief for sure! See you then.


Blogger Plain Jane said...

So many things I want to say, and there are no words.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Tink said...

Aw Violet... I'm so sorry. Take all the time you need OK? We're here for you. I'm just grateful you got to see him. That seldom happens. It's a small blessing.

12:25 PM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

How does the saying go? "The only way out is through." The loss of a friend through death is big example. It takes guts. It's a horrific honor (if I can use that word) to help usher another human being into the next world. To act normal when things aren't. To be appropriately emotional without being a burden to the person who is losing his/her life. You will emerge stronger...of that there is no doubt.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Arabella said...

I'm so, so sorry.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Mignon said...

I'm amazed that you could write so beautifully about it. You are a strong and admirable woman for being there. I am so sorry.

1:56 PM  
Blogger mama_tulip said...

Violet, my heart goes out to you and The Man. My mother was in Hospice Care for just under two months before she passed away. I understand, sadly. My thoughts are with you.

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An incredibly beautiful story. Why the title,"via con dios" though?

7:37 PM  
Blogger Ditsy Chick said...

I am so sorry for you. However, I am glad you were able to spend time with him this week.

9:23 PM  
Blogger Shrinking Violet said...

The title is Via Con Dios because Joe is going to Go With God any day now. He is now in a drug induced coma and is only breathing eight times per minute. Bless his soul. And, Bless Jane. Right now, she is the one that I think about most. Her and The Man.

9:35 AM  
Anonymous TB said...

I'm so sorry. It's a blessing that you and your husband got to be with him and that his last days are peaceful.

Thank you for sharing such a personal experience.
My thoughts are with you both.

11:10 AM  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

You are a wonderful writer. It made me tear up since we went through Hospice care with my MIL. It was a wonderful and horrible experience. The people are wonderful and she died with dignity it was just horrible to lose her.

Jane has both you and the Man. She'll be okay....eventually.

10:42 AM  

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