Another year that goes by.
Another torrent of memories unleashed.
It was early in the morning. Standing on the balcony at the Century Plaza in L.A. There was a thick blanket of fog enveloping the building. I could barely make out the railing that kept me from the ground bellow. Barely a sound around or maybe I just shut down all my senses. It seemed so peaceful up there. I did think of jumping and only one thought kept me from doing it.
How do I go about telling her that her mom had just died a few hours before?
Barb had just gone through a bone marrow transplant at UCLA Medical a few days before. Our hopes were so high that she would get through the transplant, but a few days after, things began to turn for the worst.
The last thing I remember telling her was that we were going to take her down into the ICU for close observation. She replied with tears in her eyes, "OK, OK." Because of pain they had to heavily sedate her. After that, she was barely conscious while her body began to show signs of deterioration. It took about 5 days in ICU and eventually her vital organs began to fail.
One by one went.
Many doctor came by, who hardly exchanged words with us. Barb's mom and sisters were always in the room and we took turns to go out to get some food or a bathroom break.
It was a certain doctor, whose face I still remember who brought us or me, into full reality mode.
He explained that my wife was dying, that there wasn't much more that they could do. He explained that all the symptoms and signs indicated that her body was shutting down and that eventually her heart would stop beating.
I broke down and cried. Sobbing like a kid whose ice cream just fell off the cone. I cried on my mother in law's shoulders and embraced comforting each other. There wasn't much else to say. The tears and sobs got in the way.
The future at that point looked so uncertain. The only thought was for my daughter..
and it still is.
Eventually she stopped breathing and then a few minutes later, her heart stopped. And just like that, our lives as we knew them, were over.
We all comforted each other back at the hotel later that morning. Barb's dad had stayed back at the hotel to babysat Olivia while we were at the hospital. We cried more after we told him of what had happened. Olivia was till asleep.
So much pain, so much sadness.
And it doesn't go away ...as easily.