Sister flew in, I was telling my father that we were running a bet on which one would arrive first, Sister or his wife, and Sister got there first. Not by a long shot, but she was clearly the winner.

My father is in a chemically induced coma. Complications arising from the routine surgery wherein something went awry. One uncle is a (retired) surgeon. He was one of the last family members I talked to, the other evening.

“Anytime you work on someone this age, the first couple of days are usually worse than what was worked on.”

I wasn’t in too much of a panic, not at first, and not now. But the first consult, the first morning, and me with only about two hours’ sleep, that first doctor painted a pretty bleak image. Dire. Honest and terse.

I called the family, got the wheels started.

The first day and half, Sister kept asking if she was needed. I kept insisting that everything was all right, our father was up and talking, if not walking around. But after that one doctor conference, my tone changed.

“So should I hop the next plane?”


Prayers, candles, and any other supplications, divine, profound, profane, whatever, is welcome.

The ICU station has these weird visiting hours, but what it worked out to, I would pop in every hour of so, give the apparently comatose figure of my father some words of encouragement, and I would talk to him until the tears started to well up in my eyes, then I’d saunter on out into the hallway to cry.

The theory is, they can hear us, even when apparently asleep. So any words of encouragement are helpful.

Sister beat Mother by about an hour.

Los Hermanas.

Before she arrived, I told him, “I warned you this would happen, all the girls are coming.”