Thursday, September 22, 2005

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Thursday, September 22, 2005

It’s after 1:00pm and I am just waking up. I spent the night in Tim’s room last night, semi sleeping in a chair to make sure he didn’t try to get up and walk unassisted. Suzanne is not really capable right now of much more than getting through the day herself, and last night had self-medicated beyond the point of being able to make sure Tim didn’t fall on his way to the bathroom.

That was the second fairly sleepless night in a row, so after everyone else was up I checked out for a few hours, but I don’t really feel better. My head is heavy and my eyes keep drooping.

I think the saddest thing I’ve ever seen in my life was watching Mom and Dad walk out of the house yesterday after saying good-bye to Tim. My parents are strong people, incredibly strong, but the pain of losing a child is more than the strongest man or woman can endure without flinching.

Maybe it was the knowledge of the moment, I don’t know, but I found their pain almost unendurable. I took them to the airport last night and we talked the whole way down, and it was good.

Dad said Tim had told him he was excited to find out what was next, and really ready to leave his body behind. Dad understood, and was glad for him. Our pain is really about our limitations, Tim on the other hand is going to a place beyond limits.

After sobbing all the way from Spokane to Cour D’Alene I found myself wandering down aisles of porcelain toilets gleaming under fluorescent lights, and conferring on the square foot coverage of a 50 pound bag of gypcrete at Home Depot. Incongruity is my stepladder out of despair these days and I was grateful for the opportunity to drive home with 750 pounds of concrete resurfacer in back of the car.

When I got home, the camp was divided into two factions. Those that were getting hammered into oblivion by the fire and those that were not. Mary, Margaret, Pat and I gathered on and around Tim’s bed and talked. Tim was in and out of consciousness, following the conversation in bits and spurts and sometimes losing the thread and dropping deadly funny non-sequiturs into the mix.

After grabbing a snack, I came back upstairs to go to sleep in the chair, and Pat was sitting by the bed crying quietly, something he had never really done even when he was a little boy. I sat by him and rubbed his back, and Tim woke up enough for us to talk a little. I told him that what he told Dad was a big comfort, and he was glad about that.

The last few days have been such a miracle, and such a gift. Most of the people who were here have gone home, said their goodbyes yesterday and quietly faded away. I was glad to leave because too many good byes just crush my spirit.

I’m going to go rejoin my family now, and see what else today might bring.


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