Sunday, November 4, 2012

So, I can no longer talk about what I will do when I grow up

How do I know I am no longer growing up?  I am growing down these days.  On a count down.  I have been most fortunate to live the years I have lived.  

When I was in the hospital in Silver City, the doctor told me I wasn't taking my eminent death seriously enough.  He full well expected me to die that night.

I was amused.  I thought, but didn't say aloud as the doctor was obviously quite concerned "if I wake up dead in the morning, I'll be very shocked."  Then I got the giggles as I thought about how many people had, no doubt, started the day like any day only to "wake up dead."  The doctor stared at me like I had just gone mad - and, I suppose, he was right to do so.

As the ICU nurse got me ready for the night, I thought about all I could or should do.  Should I call my family and tell them I might not make it?  I couldn't imagine that conversation.  My children?  My mother or brother?  Extended family gathered through love?

You know you are a grown up when, faced with the knowledge you might die within the next minute, hour but certainly not much longer and who are you going to call?  To decide to die with strangers around you rather than bother your children is a leap.

As soon as the sun rose, I was transferred to the hospital in Las Cruces.  The small plane was dreadful and strapped to the walls, I felt every joggle and jostle.  The nurse kept saying "stay with me, Mz Drew, stay with me."  I passed out on the plane and woke briefly when I was transferred to the ambulance.
When I next awoke, I was parked on a gurney outside the morgue.  

I lay there, unable to focus my eyes but there was this blue green thing in the cot with me.  I wracked my brain trying to figure out what was on the cot.  Not clothes.  Not shoes as my shoes had disappeared.  I had nothing but what was on me when I checked into the hospital.  Anyway, I finally got my eyes to focus and I realized it was my arm.  I was so surprised, I took a deep breath and the ugly blue green sort of dawned into a beautiful rosy pink.  

I was so cold with only a sheet over me.  I lay there looking at the morgue doors and fading in and out.  It seemed like forever before someone came to fetch the gurney.

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