Two days ago the Neurologist showed us a cat scan and explained how his brain had stopped functioning. After lengthy discussion we agreed to honor his wishes and remove him from the ventilator and feeding tube, allowing him to die in dignity. The Doc assured us it would be an hour, at the very outside a day, before he passed on.
We said our goodbyes.
Yesterday we went and chose a grave site. It seemed odd that no one had called from the hospital by the time we returned home. I woke up this morning with a strange feeling. More than anything i was worried that they were taking some extraordinary measures to keep him alive against our wishes, and his. When we last saw him he was in a coma and his signs were fading rapidly.
Elaine and I arrived in the morning expecting the worst. We entered the room slowly and were shocked to find him lying there looking like any other 68 year old taking a deep nap. Neither of us had any idea what to say. We thought we were dreaming. We sat down at his side and began quietly discussing this strange situation. At one point it almost seemed like he had some level of awareness of our presence.
"Dad, if you can hear my voice raise your right hand".
His arm shot to the sky like an eager student.
Don’t have time for the rest right now, but within the hour he was sitting up and talking to us. Briefly, but still so much better than the alternative. A veritable army of doctors were in and out of the room examining him. They didn’t care for the word “miracle” but instead kept uttering variations of the phrase “extreme anomaly”. They apologized for the earlier diagnosis (of death) and assured us this was a one in a million thing. The old bastard was too stubborn to let go. He simply refused to die.
We still have a long and rough road, and he will never fully regain all functions but the prognosis is for him to come close. I cannot thank everyone for all of their thoughts and prayers. Say what you will but to my dying day I’ll believe faith helped him make it. Bless all of your hearts.
She just rolled into the hospital wearing a black Chanel slip dress,a Burberry bucket hat, scarf, and pocketbook, Jimmy Choo stilettos and a black patent leather trenchcoat. The nurses jaws almost hit the floor. When I mentioned it she said:
"When he opens his eyes I want him to have a good reason to get well".
I feel exactly like I used to when I was getting in the ring. Breathing shallow and quick, eyes darting side to side and bouncing on the balls of my feet. Keeping my chin down and my shoulders loose, my hands are stone. I’m jacked up for a fight but there’s no one to punch. Even taking punches would be a relief right now. I love catching a solid shot and laughing at my opponent as I dare him to throw another but I don’t even get that satisfaction.
Despite suffering a stroke and multiple pulmonary embolisms he never misses an opportunity to flirt with the nurses. Even when he is seemingly unconscious he throws some zingers out there. I know, I know, apple, tree etc.
He defied my express wishes and showed up at the hospital anyway. He knew me well enough to know I was just trying to protect him from the emotional trauma associated with the fact that his father died of a stroke. He came to visit anyway. My friend and I cried together and talked to my Pops. He smuggled flowers into the ICU so my Mom could have a Valentine’s Day. Also had to bullshit the nurse into believing that he was my brother just to get in. And yes, he brought me a wee taste of whiskey. That’s what I call a friend.
Dad had a stroke today. When they were admitting him to the hospital we found out that he has prostate cancer. Apparently he had surgery scheduled for next week and wasn’t going to mention it. Says he didn’t want to bother anyone.
At one point tonight he leaned over and told me to take twenty bucks out of his wallet and go to the drugstore to pick him up some aspirin. Said that if he did that he could get out of the hospital.
When you are working 17 hour days, and your staff is working even longer. You are servicing both a first and second unit with a thousand extras, tons of equipment and a film crew with constant needs. In addition to filming in multiple locations simultaneously you have two holding areas and a catering space spread over a neighborhood. Oh yeah, you’re filming in a fine arts museum and the slightest mistake could cost millions. It is so much work that six people can barely keep it together but the asshole Producer looks you in the eye and says “Hey. it’s really like one location. Why can’t one person handle it?”
Take a pound of the best Italian sausage you can find and brown it off in some olive oil. Remove sausage, add 3/4 cup decent olive oil to the same pan. Mince a dozen cloves of garlic and throw them in the pan. Heat on medium until fragrant (5-10 minutes tops). Throw in a teaspoon of kosher salt and one of pepper as you remove from heat. Take four 28 ounce cans of whole San Marzano tomatoes. Tear the stem ends and any tough parts out as you crush by hand. Combine in large heavy pot with garlic and oil mixture. Simmer for one hour, stirring frequently. Add a couple pieces of pork, either brasciole or ribs or both. Simmer for two more hours, stirring frequently. Tear browned sausage into chunks and add to pot. Simmer another 45 minutes or so, salt and pepper to taste.
They are as Italian as Italian gets. Still, every once in a while her Mom makes me corned beef and cabbage. Every time I’m there she sets a bottle of whiskey and a glass out for me. I adore that woman.