Saturday, February 23, 2013

Too Little

Yesterday began with an early call from C.’s brother, K., two time zones to the east. It didn’t really matter, because it’s pretty much impossible to stay asleep now for the full nine hours of sleep that would be most ideal, anyway. K. told me they ended up having to biopsy a second site in addition to the one they had planned on, and it took a long time afterward to make sure C. was stable. Biopsy results should be coming in 3-5 days. The biopsy was considered to be neurosurgery.

I was able to meditate for 45 minutes before work. It was nice to sit in the great silence and know it’s the exact same silence C. is held in.

A bit after nine, I called C. and when he heard my voice, he said, “Linda! Que tal?” I said, “Not too much. How are you?” He replied, “I’m too little.” We had a vague chat with half-finished sentences and many silences.

Then there was a frenzy of calls and emails. Lisa C., my excellent friend in Seattle, had offered to set up a Caring Bridge website, and asked for input on some details pertaining to that. She and David have also been very available by phone, checking in with me and always ready to listen if I call them. I’m still working from home. Things have been a bit slow there, thank goodness.

At lunchtime, I did an extremely luxurious thing: I went outside and walked somewhere to do things that for the most part had nothing to do with C. Pink plum or cherry blossoms are everywhere, gorgeous decorations for this terrible time. I went to Noe Valley to drop off a package at the post office, to get C.’s keys copied, to buy salmon at Whole Foods, to exchange shoes at Astrid’s Rabat, to Wayne’s to pick up a couple of work shirts.

After work, I went to see C. and found him asleep. He has a big bandage on the top of his head. One of the certified nursing assistants (CNAs) told me about a 21-year-old down the hall who had been in a coma and never expected to emerge, and how that day, she had walked into his room and he had smiled and greeted her: miracles do happen. Maybe we’ll have one.

While I was still at the hospital, N. stopped by and gave me a really great gift: a beautiful heart-shaped rose quartz (for healing the heart) in a little purple bag. It’s pretty and very pleasing to the touch. What a thoughtful thing. I don’t believe in crystals and such, but this is a really nice object and I appreciate her kind intention and the trouble she took to obtain it and walk it over to me, along with a photo of C. I’d never seen before.

About 6 p.m., I spoke to C. softly and his eyes opened immediately; they had been fluttering a bit and he must have been barely asleep. We had a small bit of somewhat incoherent conversation. I said, “I’ll see you tomorrow” and he said, “Of course.” He’s really already left me in some significant ways. Only one of us knows we’re likely parting for good soon. Only one of us knew it was Friday evening and that we would not be together. Lonely.

I walked home to see how long it would take: 27 minutes. I walked past Esperpento, the last restaurant we dined in together, and We Be Sushi, where the incident occurred that cost me his company for what turned out to be almost his last lucid week. I had picked up a burrito at El Metate and went up to Tom’s place to eat it while he and his girlfriend ate their dinner. D., like Tom, is a special education teacher, so she has an excellent bedside manner. I asked how I can live without C. and she said, not unkindly, “How did you live before you knew him?” That’s true, I did live before C. But it won’t be fun to live without him now! She said I’ll have a different kind of fun and she pointed out that things have already changed from how they were. Indeed.

I didn’t stay much past dinner, though they said a couple of times that I was welcome to. I came home and posted a first entry on Caring Bridge summarizing all that has occurred so far with C.’s health, and I put up some photos. I’ve started to reread Stephen Levine’s Healing Into Life and Death. This is an opportunity for awakening and healing, and for meeting what is with softness and tenderness.
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