Jan 26, 2009


Patrick's father passed away this morning at 2 AM.

For the record, he survived on his own for almost 5 days after he was removed from life support. He was a stubborn man in life and even while dying.

I was writing a post in my mind around 1:30 AM while I was feeding and rocking Griffin. It was about how my father-in-law was in limbo, somewhere between life and death and while the medical world would say that he was very much alive, life really comes in the form of the little things: a dry sense of humor, a smile that lights up when you see someone you love walk into a room, a good belly laugh, etc. He didn't have any of those things for the past 5 days and it was incredibly hard to watch the shell of a person continue to live, while the essence of who they are no longer existed. This all sounded so much better in the wee hours of the morning while Griffin ate and drifted off to sleep. I was planning on posting that this morning, but instead I sit here and write about his death.

It has been a difficult week for everyone. Being in limbo, while giving us a chance to say goodbye, has been torture. Death was inevitable, but the only thing we could do was wait. Now the waiting is over, and Patrick and his family must deal with the emotional aftermath. They will learn to navigate through life without this wonderful man. It is going to be the most difficult thing Patrick has done in his life, but I will do my best to help him through this process.

Jan 23, 2009


I'm sitting in my father-in-law's room in the hospice wing of the hospital. At 12 PM on Wednesday he was taken off life support...and yet he is still here. Almost 48 hours later. I shouldn't get my hopes up because there is absolutely no brain activity and therefore, no chance of recovery. All medical interventions have been stopped, and he only is receiving some oxygen. No IVs, no monitors, no kidney dialysis, and no nourishment.

His blood pressure is slowly dropping. His breathing is becoming a bit more shallow. His hands and feet are growing cold.

I am here with Patrick, his brother, and their mom. It's silent right now except for the clicking of the keys on my laptop as I type this. And the breathing. His breathing. In and out. In and out. Rhythmic and peaceful. It amazes me how the sound of someone dying can be so beautiful.

Jan 20, 2009

The beginning of the end

Tomorrow morning Patrick's father will have his breathing tube removed. Patrick is so empty. He keeps asking me if this is just a bad dream. How I wish I could tell him it is.

The beginning of the end

Tomorrow morning Patrick's father will have his breathing tube removed. Patrick is so empty. He keeps asking me if this is just a bad dream. How I wish I could tell him it is.

Jan 18, 2009

This can't be happening...

These are the words Patrick has uttered over and over today. His father was hospitalized on Thursday night and at 2:38 AM today we received a phone call from the hospital - his father went into cardiac arrest and was found unresponsive by the nurses. No heartbeat. No pulse. No breathing. They were able to resuscitate him, but he has remained unconscious and on a ventilator ever since. It has been a very long day in which we received even more bad news. His father began having seizures and was given anti-seizure medication. About 40 minutes later, he crashed again and was resuscitated. The neurologist reviewed his EEG and told us that while they still want to give him some more time, there was absolutely no brain activity between his seizures.

I have these brief moments when things seem normal - I'm getting Griffin's diaper bag ready for day care, I'm cleaning up the mess in the kitchen, etc. All of a sudden I realize what is really going on. I can't wrap my brain around it. I want it to go away. I don't want Patrick to lose his father.

I keep hoping I'll wake up from this awful nightmare...

Jan 13, 2009

I love me some peaches...

This is a short post as I am swamped with grants. I finished the two United Way grants last week and I already have two more due by the end of this month (and then three more in February and so on and so on...).

Therefore, this is a brief post about how Griffin finally ate some "real" food. The kid did not want cereal (rice or oatmeal), so I gave in to my gut and gave him some peaches. The first two bites, he spit right back out, but then again, all he does these days is spit so I wasn't too concerned. After the third bite it was like a light turned on in his brain: Hey! This stuff is pretty good! Then he swallowed it, grabbed the spoon from my hands and sucked all the peaches off it like he hadn't eaten in weeks. If he could speak I know he would have said, "Why have you been keeping this from me all these months?"

So here he is in all his messy, peachy glory:

Jan 2, 2009


I saw this quote this morning and thought it was perfect for the new year:

"Here's to life. And to twists and turns and anticipation and changes and possibility and being open."

Happy New Year...

Jan 1, 2009

The ultimate bad hair day

This is how he looked after his afternoon nap...

A belated happy holidays

Christmas was chaotic. I'm not even going into the details - lots of stress including a day I had to go to work when I was scheduled to be on vacation. Bah humbug.

It was a nice holiday, but I felt stressed and rushed. I was cranky for most of the time. I hope next year is better.

Here are just a few pictures I took of Griffin. I promised myself I would never dress my kids in ridiculous costumes like this, but a) my in-laws bought the outfit, so there was a sense of obligation and b) once we dressed him up, he looked pretty darn cute: