Sunday, January 21, 2007

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Jerry! Get Better!

I just had to fill out fifteen forms to write on my blog. These sites change programs and we're supposed to change and remember new procedures and passwords. Blegh!
My cousin/brother Jerry is at the hospital again; my children took him this time. He doesn't have Lymphoma, thank God, but he needed blood again and he's very sick. He wouldn't go via 911 by himself. Bubba Freda goes by herself. It's got to be scary, but I accept the fact that when you're sick, you're stuck. Jerry WAS admitted and he's back in Pulmonary ICU. He'll have different tests this time because he needed more blood. BUT, it turns out he doesn't have Lymphoma! So maybe he'll have a chance to actually get better this time. I pray so.
Time for dishes and movies by a roaring fire.
Movie and fire done. Nothing doing except Jerry. He's been next to me my whole life;
He's been special to me. My big brilliant cousin. When Brian was little, Jerry carried Brian on his shoulders. He has been a best friend to my children all their lives. When Honey was 19, he sent her on a dig in Sardinia. In high school she had pretty much lived in his apartment in town. Then Brian lived in his house when he went to Germantown Friends.
When I was eight, I missed Jerry; he was playing basketball. (He was six feet tall at eleven.) I would go to the playground and swing waiting for him to finish and we'd go back to his house and play. If I had realized the pain his smoking would cause me, could I have stopped him? Would anything have made him put them down?
The "spirit light" flicks on and off, on its own of course. I know the spirits are worried about him. Or about all of us. I saw my Aunt Betty and my mother the other night in one of my special dreams. I always assume the spirits are visiting. She doesn't come too often. I wanted to stay and talk to her; my choice was to talk to her or Jerry. I think I was going to Jerry. I'm purposely meditating again so I can sense the spirits the way I used to do.
I never knew the torture of loving someone and worrying that they'd die. I had friends who died. My father and then my mother. I had wanted my mother to see Brian BarMitzvahed but she didn't make it and I cried. But Jerry is my loss. My fear.


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

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Staying Alive

These have been difficult weeks. First my cousin who is very much my brother, almost died. He had what doctors call The Trifecta--pneumonia, heart attack, and internal bleeding. The doctors said most people do not survive the Trifecta; but Jerry came through it. He has been diagnosed with Heart Failure and Emphysema so far. He may have Lymphoma too, but test results are not in yet. Today, our daughter took Jerry home and anguished over Jerry's weakness and his ability to sustain himself alone in his house. I may have to go back to Philly and bring him down to our house in Delaware. He will make that decision.
Through these weeks, it has been an emotional roller coaster for all of us. Jefferson was just about to send Jerry home more than a week ago, then he began to run a fever. Suddenly, his lungs were seen to have an opaque white surface. So more tests were run and Jerry stayed at Jeff. His house was broken into; the back door was smashed, but nothing was taken. The family divided trips to Jerry's house to water his plants. Jerry has a very green thumb with beautiful huge trees to little baby plants in every window. Our son kept track of Jerry's bills and kept everything running smoothly.
But serious illness puts a strain on the whole family. I had my first formidable lupus flare in more than a year. Our son and daughter have run themselves ragged trying to work, attend classes, run a household, and look out for Jerry. Jerry himself is very frightened and still ill. This situation is not just happening to our family--it is occurring across the nation, sometimes much worse. I am most grateful we still have Jerry, and that we, and he, had the wherewithal to get to this point.