Part Three of The Mater’s Series
An Alternate View of What Comes Next
Gary’s eyes were large, way too large. As he awakened from surgery they appeared to be swollen, waterlogged marbles about to burst open. Around the two of us the recovery room was sparse and barren. Standing beside the gurney, I waited for him to become coherent, longing for him to be okay, to recover fully. A day earlier the doctor had said there was no chance of that. I knew better. He would get well. He would. My belief would make it so.
As the cold December day slipped into darkness, he was moved to the Hospice Unit at St. Vincent’s. Once he regained consciousness his family came to say goodbye and returned home. The pain from the pancreatic cancer was nearly intolerable. The tumor had strangled his liver. The staff increased the morphine drip. Antsy, distraught and caught up in anticipatory grief, I slouched uncomfortably on the chair beside the bed, alone with the man I loved. Alone.
At 9:50 a.m. on December 9, 1988 he slipped out of his coma. “I love you, and God loves you,” I said. “I’m glad. Me too, you, ” he whispered and closed his eyes for the last time. The monitor went off. The nurse came in and pronounced his time of death.
Two and a half years earlier when we found each other, he had said, “Teach me to have fun.” He spent his life as the consummate business man who drank to take the edge off. It destroyed his pancreas. The … Continue reading
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