Monday, July 30, 2012


My father-in-law Frank is apparently in his final hours. How many hours there are is unclear.

On Saturday he had another heart attack while in the hospital - his second that we know of in the last week. The doctor said his heart is damaged, and that at his age (83) and condition - two strokes, multiple heart attacks, his lungs congested, failing kidneys - surgery is not possible. Frank made it clear that he does not want extraordinary means any more. He just wants comfort care, and to let nature take its course.

He's been in and out of consciousness since. Sometimes he is agitated and talking about people or places from long ago as if they were standing there or he was back there. But he will sometimes also respond to questions. This morning, he actually woke up long enough to talk to my wife and by phone to my brother-in-law, and ate some breakfast. Then he fell back asleep.

His heart could give out in an hour. It could give out in a week. It could give out in months. That's in God's hands.

My wife's family has been keeping vigil. Every day. All day.

That's not my thing. I've been over to the hospital a couple of times, more for the sake of my wife and her family, though I have talked to Frank: I've heard stories that even in comas people can hear and understand what's being said. I keep him up to date on his favorite sports teams and the Olympics.

But then I go home to do things: Clean, lesson prep, walk the dog, etc.

Life has to go on.

If I were in that bed, I'd prefer to be alone - or with just maybe one person. I like quiet.

We'll see when my time comes.

As for now, the focus is on Frank. And whether we are there or here, we are all doing the same thing: Waiting.

Pax et bonum

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