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Thursday, October 15, 2009


the door
The only thing I can say today is I don't understand anything. Of course, that's a given, but I don't always believe I don't understand anything. Today I believe it. Hospice nurse told me this morning the cells and the blood are feeding the body now. Jr's eating himself. And surviving. I told her I'd formerly believed what I'd always been told so much it's common knowledge that after 3 days without water you die. He's not dead. He's up walking around with the walker, something he's not done in quite a long time, and today I watched him walk about 6 feet without any aid.

He talks clearly with a seemingly clear head. It's like he's coming back to life. I think of him as the Cat Came Back, a funny old-time song about somebody trying to get rid of a cat. Thought he was a gonner, but the cat came back. I especially like Wade Mainer's recording of it. Some call Jr the Come Back Kid. 3 times before now he's been at death's door looking in, and came back. Now he has absolutely no nutrition inside his body and he's more clear than before, can get up and walk around, understand what is said, even recognize people who come to see him.

He sleeps better than he did before too. He quit taking any pills for 2 days, felt no pain, slept well and came to life. Today he was blaming the medications for his decline. Interesting analysis, but I tend not to go along with it, which is meaningless, because he has always, to my knowledge, known his own body and feelings better than anyone else does. I don't even try to figure out what might be wrong with him any more. He tells me and he's right. He's right in that pain medications block his intestines and he needs laxatives regularly to keep the plumbing flowing.

Yesterday he ate half a Burger King Spicy Chicken and drank a sip of water. Today he had a few ounces of apple juice and a little candy bar kind of thing for the hospice women who came to clean him and check out his vitals, which are always in perfect balance. I quit expecting where Jr is concerned long ago, so I go about the day expecting nothing from one minute to the next. Whatever happens is what happens, and it's always a surprise.

I called one of his friends, who grew up on the next farm and walked to the same school together, yesterday to alert him to Jr's condition and to give him a chance to talk with him. Jr was particularly lucid yesterday and I wanted Joe to have a chance to maybe have his last conversation with his lifelong friend. Fiddler Johnny Miller I mean to call too. Johnny needs to know. At the same time, I don't know what to tell them when we talk. I told Joe he'd been 4 days without water or anything, and 9 days before that with only an ensure a day. He's still living and clear in the head, can walk with the walker again.

I can't get emotionally worked up over any of it. Any way you look at it, I'm prepared for an any minute demise, though the nurse told me this can go on for weeks, the process of the body eating itself. It seems like a crazier'n hell way to me to leave the body, but I reckon it's his choice. He might not call it his choice, but nobody else is doing it to him.

All day today I've been in a bewildered state between one pole and another, not even wondering what's going on. It's more like awe that Jr has shut down, ought to be dead, and is up and about like he was months ago. The mental clarity is what gets me. Every day I sit and talk with him for awhile. Today he was sharp as he used to be. He talks about being lazy, sorry, all he can do is sleep. I tell him to sleep as much as he wants to. He's sleeping now like he never did before, and without the pills to help him sleep. Of course, when he's sleeping good the phone rings. Every day.

I can't have a nap for the phone. Every time I fall asleep, the phone rings. There are times I'd like to unplug it. Only problem is, sometimes it's hospice nurse, and I want to always be open for those calls. Back to expectation. I don't expect to have a full nap without the phone ringing anymore. I do feel strongly that the teaching I'm getting at this place on my spiritual path is about expectation. I find I approach everything better without expectation, like when I walk into Jr's house. Whatever I go into now, I tell myself, no expectation. Receive it for what it is.

I was talking on the phone with a friend a couple days ago I've not seen since I've been staying at Jr's. We usually have lunch once a week and air our thoughts of the week. I mentioned I was enjoying Obama's Audacity of Hope (I love the title--2/3 of the reason I'm reading it), and he said, 'I already have 2 things against him. He didn't receive the Dalai Lama. He gave in to China.' I didn't have anything to say. I'd prefer China leave Tibet alone too, but it's not happening any time soon. China takes Tibet to be a province of China. They have the army to enforce it. I also believe there's more to it spiritually than meets the eye. Like it took what Nazis did to Jews to create Israel.

Tibetan Buddhism is a potent religion. I tend to believe God saw it was time for all that energy balled up in the monasteries of Lhasa and the rest of Tibet to spread out all over the world like dandelion seeds with parachutes. Emory University in Atlanta has taken in the Dalai Lama and gives support to a Tibetan monastery in northern Georgia. All up and down the West Coast Tibetan lamas have landed as well as throughout our country and Europe.

I hate it that China is so belligerent about Tibetan Buddhism and the Dalai Lama, but that's China's problem. They're the ones that will pay. Running the Tibetans off their homeland is not a crime without a penalty. I trust divine justice will work there as it does everywhere else. I don't see any point in provoking China with a forced few minutes of hi-how-ya-doin and a photo op. That the Dalai Lama has a place in Atlanta is good enough. No need to get China excited over a mere photo op. They have their own concerns. Like Steven Seagal says, 'Ya gotta admit, God has a strange sense of humor.'
I keep on wondering what God has in mind for Jr. Like what did God have in mind for Job? I know God doesn't dislike Jr enough to put him through all the agony he's suffered in his life. I can't help but have a feeling Jr is a veiled advanced soul who chose to experience suffering this lifetime for the fast lane on his path. I'm honored to know the man.

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