Everyone should know David is going down fast. In both the professional’s and my opinion, he is likely not to last more than a day or two. He drifts in and out of consciousness but is able to focus a bit better in the morning – for example this a.m. he actually took part briefly in a conversation with a few cohousers about a savings and loan board meeting at which something significant is going on; I don’t know what. Apparently David will remain interested in financial matters until the end!
On the left side of David’s hospital bed are two painted wooden ducks from Korea that Yeonsil, David’s colleague from his work at Walnut Street, gave us when David and I married. As I understand it, the tradition is that the position of the duck indicates the state of the relationship. The ducks can be moved by either partner. Bills apart means dissent; bills together stands for happiness. David can see (or could when he first arrived downstairs) one orange duck bill and one blue, nestled tight together. Next to the ducks is a photo of David’s late sister Ella and next to her is a photo of David and me taken around the time we first met. With his left arm around my shoulder and his right hand clutching a vanilla ice cream cone, David looks as happy as I’ve ever seen.
David and I would often say that everyone needs a mammal. He and I were mammals to each other. When I read Keith’s commen about how David had said goodbye to our bedroom before he was helped downstairs the night before last, it really got to me. Last night, alone in our bed for the second time, I reached out to stroke the flannel sheet on David’s side but my warm mammal wasn’t there. Early this morning, David woke up briefly and smiled at me. I could see such love shining at me out of his hazel eyes now yellowed with jaundice that, for the first time since this all began, I truly began to grieve.