05 February 2009

Tonight I Am Thinking About... My Sister

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of my sister Vicky's almost dying from one operation and set of doctors and then being saved by another operation by a different set of doctors.

She was in a medically induced coma for something like 40 days...we thought she'd die. And then they tried one last thing... and she came back. And she is recovering.
I remember sitting in the hospital chapel and praying so so hard for Vicky. And crying. She was gone and she returned.

She went through so much. Its important to remember tough things like this. I wrote a few blog posts about her "adventure" and have reposted them in this post.

Vicky. I am glad you are alive, and I love you very much.


05 March 2008
Vicky Is Floating

I am back at the hospital. I flew in this morning.

I am in the room with my other sister, Kathy. Vicky is floating above her bed. I noticed this right away when I came in. I look around to see if anyone else notices. My sister is talking to me about Vicky but not about Vicky floating. The nurse is adjusting lines and dials and beeps and seems unperturbed. Vicky is drifting a little to and fro. Rocking a little. She is held in place by all the IVs and tubes and wires that they have attached to her. She can float no higher than the shortest of these lines. She is not straining at these ties, but I make sure the window is closed anyway. It is a fine if cold day with a bright blue sky.

Last time I was here I took a small smooth pebble from the hospital chapel. The pebble reminded me as I went about my day, and dug in my pocket from time to time, about Vicky and where she was and what she was going through. I carried that pebble for several weeks. It started out small and light and easy. It got heavier with each passing day until it became impossible to carry.

By my front door, back in Colorado, I have a small granite Buddha that sits on a pile of rocks under a ponderosa pine tree. His hands lay gently one in the other and make a small cup. I placed Vicky’s pebble there, in his hands, and what was crushing to me is easy for the Buddha to hold. That immense white stone as heavy as the universe lies gently on his palms.

Vicky is tethered to the earth. But she is floating.

I know the Buddha will not try to keep her or make her go. He will just cradle her. And, for now, that is enough.

25 February 2008
one perfect day

i can't help but wonder what my sister does in her deep chemical sleep. does she feel my fingers on her forehead? does she dream?

does she dream of one perfect day that she'd like to have when she wakes up? does she will it from deep in the well of her night?

will she remember where she went for weeks and weeks and with which gods she laughed about all our fleeting lives? but in laughing did she still ask them for her one perfect day?

the one with sun on snow, children and husband, song and dance?

and their answer, what of their answer?

17 February 2008
night nurse

I walk into intensive care and see my sister laying on fluoresent white sheets. Glowing under the green monitors. Talking with little beeps. I sit down. She is silent. Her breathing is as loud as the machine doing it for her. She is still. Her blood moves to the whirring dialysis machine. And then back. She is here. I am here. I see all this machinery. These computers and tubes. We all seem to be suspended between life and death. We daydream. We are all hovering above a vast green plain with a blue sky and dusty roads. I sit and watch her breath for hours. The nurses come and go. I feed dollars to the coke machine. We sleep on sofas in the family waiting rooms. We wait for the doctors to tell us something. Anything. We go home to our beds. The night comes. The stars come and cover her. She breaths them in and out. She spits them like meteors. She is in her bed but also far away waiting with bated breath. The night nurse touches her brow. We lie awake. We are still. We listen to the falling snow as it covers the prairie like sleep. We wait for it to cover us. For its numbing soft cold. We fold our hands. We bargain. We wait.

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