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August 23rd, 2016
There is something really satisfying about baldly stating what I remember of the events of those 3 weeks that Dana was in coma.
There is also something really satisfying about posting unedited photos, all photos that are still on my camera roll, that I haven’t really looked at until now.
I take photos constantly. Some people in my family hate it – or perhaps more accurately, they hate it when I take a really long time about it, or if I’m annoying in my requests for particular angles or poses.
Dana loved my photo taking.
When he was a kid, he wasn’t crazy about it, but I noticed as he grew older, he relished being photographed. And it was like, you could never get a bad picture of him. He was never particular about angles or light or flattering sides.
For him, ALL sides were flattering! He loved the way he looked, no matter what!
I loved that about him. His frank delight in his appearance, “I’m a sexy beast!” always made me laugh, always made my heart explode a little by becoming more open.
That is really what I felt for my brother: a love for exactly who he was. I did not need him to be anything other than exactly that, and because I had that solid love that was unconditional, it allowed for my heart to expand to others, for others.
Our days were repetitive.
Like the movie, Groundhog Day, but without the distraction of romance. Maybe it was the same in the effort to get things right though?
I had read the same stories that you probably also have, about people in coma being reached by people around them. I read about them being able to hear everything, or have an awareness of what was happening in the physical plane even while they were having a spiritual adventure.
I didn’t know if that was happening with Dana. I didn’t know if there was something I was supposed to be saying or doing that would help him.
The only time my kids were not with me was when I was in the ICU with Dana. They were there for the drives to the hospital, the time in the garden, praying. They were there for the short walks through the blistering Redding heat. They were there for the meals. They were there for the hours upon hours spent in the ICU waiting room.
And they did not complain.
My mom, my nieces and I all tried to make things better for them however we could. A few toys, time spent in the hotel pool, interesting meals (- and by “interesting” I mean hotel breakfast buffet or hospital cafeteria food where you can hold a tray).
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.