I do not know for sure if a medical doctor would term Debbi’s current condition a coma but she has been sleeping for more than 36 hours. As I mentioned previously, we may not get her back. I do believe that her hearing is intact and so we continue to shower her with messages of love and tell her how remarkably she fulfilled her many roles in her lifetime… chief among them being Mother and Wife.
Debbi seems to be holding her own meaning that her hands are still warm and soft. Her oximeter readings this morning were 100 pulse and 96% saturated peripheral oxygen. A gentle touch to her forehead indicates that she is not running a fever. Her breathing is even and very regular. She is lying comfortably and not moving. Ralph is doing his job well using his arms and legs to give Debbi hugs on behalf of the family.
Debbi touched many people in many ways. As many as 150 young children may carry her memory as their Pre-K teacher their whole lives. When Debbi was no longer able to teach regularly due to the cancer, we experimented with a web site so that she would be able to read some of her favorite books to her young ones who were able to view the site via the computers in their classroom. We made a beginning, but due to the advance of the disease, hospital visits, my work schedule, life in general… we were not able to go beyond the initial state. The web site debbireads.com currently contains 6 videos. In her memory we may try to expand this with other narrators and story tellers as an online library for children. I frequently like to listen to Debbi read “How do Dinosaurs go to School? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague.
Speaking about web sites, I was able to secure the web site debbisjourney.com. We will continue to post the blog on buckler.com/blog but will also post to the new site, when it is ready, in order to share Debbi’s writings on a wider basis.
There is not much to do. Debbi is still on a minimal amount of morphine… 3ml/hour. Atropine drops seem to be working as she is no longer coughing. Ativan has been cut back to 1mg two times a day. Haldol is given once before I retire for the night.
There is still a lot to say. Many thank yous are still required. Missed thank yous pile up over the course of ones life and I am trying to replay our time together, in my mind’s eye, to find all the times I should have said ‘Thank you” and I failed. Should have said, ‘You were marvelous’ and I failed. Should have said, “You were the BEST’ and I failed to. 38 years together is spread over lots of DVDs yet I am going through them one by one. I asked for forgiveness days ago and offered the same to Debbi while she was able to converse with me. Still there are many many apologies that are necessary and I hope to whisper them in her delicate ears while she can still hear.
I know that Debbi can still hear me and understand what I am saying to her. I base this on empirical proof from a visit I payed to my mother’s brother-in-law… Uncle Zvi, who was a true mentor to me my whole life. Uncle Zvi was a talented soccer player, coach, and referree. He had a keen eye when it came to sports. Possibly keener than his main profession which was dentistry. Zvi often took me to see his vaunted Boston Bruins. We would sit in the stands rooting on the team but every time Peter McNab would touch the puck, Uncle Zvi went ballistic. He would grab the rail in front of our seats, shoot up to a standing postion with his arm raised, and at the top of his lungs, he would yell out in his combination of Israeli and New England accents, “McNab MOVE YOUR FAT ASS.” Uncharacteristic of my uncle, but Oh how it made me laugh.
Uncle Zvi reserved his best accolades for Ray Borque. Stellar defenseman par excellance for the Bruins for 21 years. Hall of Famer. Records Galore. Never won a Stanley Cup with the Bruins. Wishing for a solid chance to win the Stanley Cup before he retires, Borque asks to be traded to the Colorado Avalanche in 2000. In the next season, Borque was incredible and of course the Avalanche and Ray Borque win the cup in June 2001.
On Uncle Zvi’s last day in this world, Debbi and I went to see him. He was still just as Debbi is still now. After some initial messages as to how grateful I was for his devotion to me, I was at a loss for words. A thought occurred to me that Uncle Zvi would probably like to hear about the Stanley Cup games featuring his favorite player. Debbi and I were fans of the opposing team… the New Jersey Devils. Naturally, the Avalanche and Ray Borque succeeding at the expense of the NJ Devils would be sure to thrill Uncle Zvi.
I was relating to him that in the most recent game of the 2001 Stanley Cup Playoffs, in the second period, Patrick Elias of NJ had a short-handed break-away and got a shot by the Avalanche goal tender Patrick Roi only to have the shot hit the post. On the same power play, Ray Borque connects with the back of the net driving the puck right by Martin Brodeur, the Hall of Fame Goalie for NJ.
I am speaking these words into his ear when I hear Uncle Zvi, silent up till now, strongly say “Borque.” Uncle Zvi, and all the Bruins fans who loved and admired Ray Borque during his many seasons in Boston were so proud of him. On his day to spend with the Stanley Cup, June 12th 2001, Ray Borque brought the cup back to Boston for a rally with 20,000 of his closest fans. Had he been alive, I am certain that Uncle Zvi would have been among them.
Emprirical evidence for me that Debbi can still hear me and process my message of Apology, Thanks, and Love.
There is also still prayer. We are praying and saying Tehillim (psalms) on her behalf. Debbi is on her own schedule and G-d runs the world.