J's father is fairing a little better. He's been in Cedar's since the 12th of December, when he went in to have yet another surgery on vertabrae 4 - 6, to make a little more space for everything to flow more easily. (I have a message on my phone from December 11, telling us he was going in for his operation early: "Here we go baby," he said. "Gotta get this done. Love ya.") This is his third operation on the same thing and the apparently the most serious - the operation took close to seven hours. He is finally out of serious ICU and onto what they call a respiratory floor (or less serious ICU as I like to refer to it). He is breathing on his own most of the time, through the tracheotomy, although he needs help sometimes. Today, according to Sandy, he read the Sunday paper (which is great news & a major breakthrough). He can't talk, per se, but he can communicate. This is a huge relief as he was sedated into a medical coma for more than two weeks. Now at least he can express his frustration. And his humor has come back. (He actually rolled his eyes at my beloved and smiled sardonically, as only he can, last time I was there, which was before New Year as I've been sick and can't visit in this state.) A hospital bed in an intensive care wing is not the place for a sprightly septuagenarian, especially not one who is used to walking on the beach and meeting friends for lunch and yelling at the tv when the ball game is on. It is hard to watch J's father sick like this. And even harder to watch Sandy, J's stepmother deal with it all, as she does, quietly and gracefully. She exudes love and altruism and everyone in the family feels enormously grateful that she is here.
J is being stoic, soaking up everyone else's pain and anxiety with the situation. He is worried, naturally, but I think he loves his visits with his father, and seems much happier now that the situation looking more optimistic. So, just to say it out loud, so that it can be heard by the universe: We are sending love and prayers and thoughts and more prayers for a full, albeit long, recovery. John Sr, we love you. Very much. And we can't wait to see you on the beach in those horrible old OP short shorts.