Friday, February 17, 2012

Time marches on...

It's been 8 months since I wrote something here. Of course I am thinking of Andrew daily, and many times wanted to share some thoughts but just didn't take the time. A bit like missing an old friend but hesitating to reach out, I guess.

Andrew's birthday came and went in January. I had originally planned to take the day off of work, but my girls went out-of-state to visit their dad, so I just worked. As it turned out, I wished I had taken it off. An inmate at the jail where I work passed away. He had some kind of liver disease and wasn't expected to live much longer, but its a shock when it happened and the officers and staff has to deal with it. I heard one officer relating how the person looked when they checked him. "His eyes were so blank," I overheard one officer say...that hit me so hard.

I remember when I watched the doctor check Andrew's eyes. There was nothing going on in there. I saw it. Andrew's father saw it, too, or so I thought. I knew Andrew was gone beyond the point of return. Still the doctor offered some hope, talking about miracles. I think that was wrong, but maybe necessary. I knew my faith wasn't designed to believe in such an extreme miracle. I know Bill and the girls weren't ready to accept that truth and hope was what they were clinging to, so I just went along with it. But Andrew's eyes were vacant and I knew he was gone.

We maintained our vigil through that day and the next. I remember feeling so nauseous as Andrew's body became distorted with fluids in places like his left hand. You didn't want to touch it or hold on to it because it was swelling up and turning red. I tried to stay on his right side mostly. I felt angry inside that they were keeping his body alive, sort of in torture, when his brain was dead. A useless thing. But I had to stifle my anger and get through this for everyone else.

I spontaneously started to cry at work when they were talking about the dead inmate. Not for him, but for my son. It's been three years but it can still all come crashing back like it was yesterday. All it takes is some comment, a smell, a sound of a ventilator. Next year I am definately taking that day off...