Sunday, April 16, 2006


Gent has turned the corner; on Thursday night we were all on alert, waiting for a call from the hospital. They’d asked me if we wanted a night call. When Joy, Wonderful Neighbour and I walked into his room that afternoon we thought he’d gone. I picked up his hand and called his name, several times, there was no reaction. Then he moved ever so slightly. He is very thin; the skin on his face has nothing beneath it but skull. I hardly slept that night, kept thinking about him and Joy, and in the morning was dreading the phone ringing. It did ring eventually, but the voice of the staff nurse was cheerful; she said that Gent was up and sitting in his chair and calling for new batteries for his shaver. Good Friday was a bit hysterical after that. I was afraid to call the family, didn’t want to scare them. In the end I did call and got my happy voice in quickly to give them the good news. He looked amazing that afternoon. Saturday not so good, and then today, he seems completely different; there is a fundamental change, he is definitely over that imminent-death hurdle, and on the mend…well, as far as he can mend in his condition, at this stage. But it means that he can probably come home soon, and do his fading away there.

There is no knowing how Joy is going to react to his death. The last few days she has been saying that he’d be alright, that he’s always alright in the end. I did have a little talk with her on the Thursday evening when we got back, trying to prepare her for the worst but she was determined that he’d still be there next day. She doesn’t have much left, in the way of sequential thoughts; I worry that she’ll wake up in the mornings after he’s gone and ask where he is…then either Fi or I will have to remind her!

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