Saturday, November 6, 2021

Back from the brink.

Dying hurts.  It's isn't fatal.  But, it is unpleasant. 

This is what my father said to me last night in the ICU where he has made his home during the last two days.

Earlier in the week--on Wednesday, I called an ambulance and my dad was rushed to the Emergency Room.  His heart rate was alarmingly low.  During triage in the ER, his heart rate dipped as low as 28.  At this point, a doctor took me aside and began talking softly about end of life preparations. 

My father lay on a stretcher, writhing in pain.  It was rough to witness.  The nurse talked about drastic measures versus "comfort care."  And then, we learned that that there was something in between.  And so we took the more sensible middle road.  As I write this, it's Saturday morning he's still with us.  He's still philosophizing on the nature of life and what looking into the maw of death feels like.  

According to my father, who just came back from the brink--dying hurts.  It's isn't fatal, but it is unpleasant.

And so, he has won the current battle.  No, not the war.  But Papa Callan is still with us, and you know what--he wants cookies.   Chocolate chip cookies and milk!  And, I am going to make that happen. 

Here's your creative prompt for this week, my friends.  It's really simple:  go get yourself a chocolate chip cookie. 

Okay, maybe that's not your thing.  Maybe it's cheesecake or a cheeseburger or a bottle of champagne.  Maybe it's going out and getting yourself a puppy.  Maybe it's a trip to Paris.  Maybe it's a spanking brand new paint set.  Whatever it is, my friends, please don't wait.  There's no time like the present.  And you never know what the future will bring.

Go take a big bite out of life.  Create something wonderful.  

In the words of my dear, brave papa, "have fun."


  1. Dear Jamie,
    This is a difficult time for you and your father. There are also many blessings to have this time together.

    My 92yo mother is also very frail with serious health issues. Over the past few years when her health started to seriously fail, we've spent a lot of time together. It's been a blessing for us because our relationship really improved. So every day of life that God gives her is a blessing for me and her family. She's so sweet to everyone surrounding her, even if she forgets things.

    She lives in a senior care center which provides very good care. She recently registered for Hospice services which she receives in her residence. The good news is that she now receives the extra care services that I've been proposing for a while. So she is now more comfortable and happier with the additional attention.
    My husband and I are planning a road trip to St Louis to visit her for a few days starting tomorrow. Our son is flying out to meet us over the weekend. Then we will plan another visit for Christmas.
    Best wishes and love during this time,

  2. Dear Denise--Thank you so very, very much for your message. Your story of your mother is so moving! I had no idea that we were going through the same journey, and it warms my heart to know that we are sharing this sacred time together. I am so grateful to know I am not alone. I send you gratitude and love, Jamie


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