Pedal Another Mile

Bicycling, death, life after death.

Conversations with Uncle Rich and more

I want to expand more about how much Billy Jo's uncle Rich helped me during our talk yesterday. He helped her as well.

During our talk, he said he had to go out to the car and get something. He came back with a framed photo of his beloved Debbie, who passed away in July. He went through exactly what I am going through now.

He told me that during the final days, when Debbie was in about the same condition as Billy Jo is now, that he went for a walk. He walks six miles every day. Anyway, as he was walking his usual route on a trail through a forested area, this non-religious man asked God that if he existed, to please end Debbie's suffering and give her her wings.

Just then, a hummingbird flew across the path, hovered momentarily, and dropped a feather before moving on.

As he finished telling me this, he began to take apart the picture frame. Behind the picture was the feather. He gave it to me, telling me it helped him tremendously and hoped it would help Billy Jo and I as well.

Something so fragile and beautiful. Like our lives on this earth, I suppose.

Anyway, before Billy Jo's "rant" this morning, she was lucid enough to hear that I had a wonderful talk with her uncle and then I told her the story and she held the feather while tears streamed from her eyes. I believe they were tears of comfort, not sadness. She kept dropping it since her coordination is pretty much non-existent now, so I put it in an empty pill bottle and she gripped it for 15 minutes or so. It was today's good moment, and I'll treasure it as such.

As for Billy Jo's status today, well, after she got the Ativan she was unconscious all day. She cannot go back on a regular dosing schedule, and can still get it, but only if she has more than six breaths per minute. Much of this afternoon was five per minute. Two breaths, 20-30 seconds (an eternity, really) of nothing, then two or three more.

She can no longer swallow the methadone pill without serious complications so it is now dissolved in water and administered by eyedropper.

Now, onto me. No meltdowns like yesterday. I had one bad moment where we couldn't get her mouth closed after the nurse had to fish the methadone pill out of her mouth. Not sure why it struck me, but it was my trigger point for the day. The good thing is I left the room, sat on the top of the stairs, shed a few tears, kept my composure, and hugged it out with Jackie, who came out of the bedroom to check on me.

I had a good one-on-one session with Erin. I have decided to keep telling Billy Jo I love her and she's not alone, but I'm backing off on the "it's ok to let go, please let go" shit. I may be causing her undue stress. I'm definitely causing myself some. I need to accept the fact that her body isn't ready, but it's close, and as long as we can keep her comfortable then that's how it's going to have to be.

Other than that I have been "comfortably numb". I got a lot done for work today, which kept my mind busy. I also ate something besides granola bars for the first time in days. They've been the only thing I can stomach. They remain the only thing I can stomach. I threw up today after I got out of the shower. Fuck P90X - I'm gonna be a lean machine in a few more weeks. Well, at least I'll once again fit into all those jeans I threw in the basement last year..

While I got a Coke Zero (my go juice) out of the refrigerator, I noticed the milk said November 25th on it. It's the 27th. So she indeed has once again outlived the milk. I'm not buying another gallon until she passes away. I'm not drinking any, and I think it's cool that yes, yes she did outlive the date on the milk in the fridge. 

Final thoughts for today...the Ben Harper channel on Pandora is fucking right on today as my my blogging soundtrack. Here's what lyric was sung right now:

And when the night is cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be

Wrigley continues to be a dog with a broken heart. She goes outside, I call her back in, once. Not twelve times. She runs right in and right back upstairs and right next to Billy Jo. It's heartbreaking and simultaneously a beautiful thing. God damn I love that dog.

Lastly, I thought I'd bookend this post by another gem from my talk with uncle Rich last night. He told me of his favorite book, Tuesdays With Morrie.

He left me this excerpt as he left for the evening:

When those we love go away, they never really leave us;

As long as we can love each other, and remember our feelings of love we had, we can die without ever going away.

All the love you created is still there, all the memories are still there. You live on - in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here.

Death ends a life, not a relationship.
— Tuesdays With Morrie

Until tomorrow, good night. And I think there's got to be at least 300 or 400 people with the teal butterfly profile pic. I showed her briefly. She didn't believe me until I did. She was only able to look for 20 seconds or so but the page was full of them as I scrolled. Amazing. Speechless. So very very thankful.