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Today was just horrible in so many ways.The only day worse than it was when my first husband died of undiagnosed heart problems (whoever did the autopsy was incredibly incompetent; he apparently couldn't tell the difference between a man who is circumcized and one who wasn't, so I have often wandered what other errors he made).  Didn't get much sleep at all, because Torachan was actively dying.  He wasn't reacting stimuli much, though he would try to stand and fall down. I kept him close and slept with my hand touching him.. This morning I told him it was okay to sleep, that Mikei and Lamis and Illya would be waiting for him along with Annies' 2 brothers and sisser.  Being an incredibly well-mannered, thoughtful, kind Person in Fur (Andre Norton's term for cats), he knew I had to go to the hospital.  Feeling pretty sure he would not breathing when I came vbnack and not wanting him to die alone (and not wanting to see him so still), I called  my BiL> Now Bill has said a couple of remarkably dumb, bigoted things in the past, but he's oOuthern and fundy and some things are just ingrained.  He took off from work, headed out here, and stayed with Tora, cradling him in his arms till he crossed the Bridge.  I swear he waited I had left to spare me seeing him take that final breath.  He fell asleep forever aout 15 minutes after I got to the  hospital.  Ben cried in m y arms. Tora struggled so hard to sat with us till Ben got home, but he was so tired, though not in pain, at least.  I gave him permission to leave, to sleep.

And that, people, is how the day started.

HOUSE RULES

Pretend this is my husband's hospital room.  If you wouldn't say it in front of him, don't say it here. I lost a husband when I was 34. You may think you know what I am feeling, but unless you have lost a spouse, you are  either  clueless or lack empathy if you feel the need to lecture me on how YOU are SURE you would behave (No, you don't know how you would react until it happens--and I kinda doubt you'd stalwart, controlled and reasonable if the staff are less than kind. I have buried both parents and the grandparents who lived my parents and me until they died. IT IS NOT THE SAME.

Save your lectures on I should be some kind of damned Valkyrie. It isn't helpful It in't kind. It isn't at all helpful. If you cannot be kind  or you even wonder if maybe this might be offensive or hurtful, delete the damned post.  You aren't helping, and I have enough to deal with without people who think they have the right to tell me how I should feel and behave--especially those who have never been married.  I ain't Wonder Woman, and in my shoes you would NOT be Iron Man.  I am simply a woman whose  husband will, at 6 am, go up to an operating room, have his sternum cracked as a doctoe quite literally holds his heart in his ahnds. If you don't get that that is terrifying, YOU are the one with problem. Save snide remarks about "my superstitions" and can your lectures on how I can't be mean if a fundy nurse get in my face. I don't need it. I don't want.

I will ask you to leave--three times at msot. Then I will got to Meteor Blades,a nd the War Hammer of Time out will likely fall on your little head.

That is the Rule: BE KIND, If you can't be kind, begone. And never post in any of my diaries again because frankly, the ones who did it the other niight definitely violated kos's simple rule: Don't be a dick.  Because this is not about you and what you will be doing to me is to twist the knife in my heart a little deeper.

At 6 am Ben will be in the OR.His heart needs surgery but it's already broken by the loss of Torachan. We have had him since he was 6 weeks old, and he had the best heart. My sister Amy took a picture of him before we left for the hospital. She's been driving me because I wouldn't trust myself behind the wheel. I am afraid I'd hurt someone because my thoughts would not be on the road. Ben's   baby sis, regarded her family as a bit of a ditz has been taking care of me.  SHe made sure I had something to eat and waited till Bill got there to stay with Tora.  I had already called the man who runs the pet cremation place, this bigg Good Ol' Boy with one of the prettiest Southern accents I have ever hear. His voice is a soft baritone, warm and lind. He handled two of our cats. He is the cheapest one around and the kindest and will bring him back to us in a little ceramic jar, with his collar around it and a little pawprint in resin.  s animals. Sure it's his livelihood, but the way he treats living animals and the way he handles it, you can see it.  He is sorrowful but he does what needs to be done. I think for him laying pets to rest is a kind  of mision--in Hebree it's called a mitzvah.

I am terrified.  I am utterly terrified.  I know it will come out all right but until I can hold his hand in CICU, I am gonna be afraid. I've known this man since 1985.  He was my best friend until we became lovers after his wife pulled rank on him when she came through the door. That was the last straw. He loved her but the marriage had been shaky for at least a year.  He isn't perfect. I am Irish and we can make roof shake when we argue--but there is always apologies on both sides and the love is deep. I've lost part of my own heart with my first husband; it's buried in a Catholic cemetery in Conn where he rests with my grandparents, great grandmother, and my parents. If I lose another piece, I don't know if I can sew the tattered remnants together.

He had a really bad experience with the night shift. His IV was having problems and he buzzed for the nurse about for times.  Sure, it ws change of shiift, but SOMEONE should have answered the call button no matter how busy he is--it's the goddamned cardio ward.  The IV developed more problems and the monitor started beeping--not sounds staff can or should ignore.  It beeped for twelve friggin' minutes. Eventually the tech (who I suspect was real busy chitchatting, not doing anything actually related to her job--I['ve been in the ER at change of shift and I COULD HEAR the conversation as to whether the doc  danced with a lampshade on his head on the table at parties, so I KNEW with the low staff to patient ration it shouldn't have taken  hour or 12 minutes tog et someone in.  Ben finally got the obnoxious tech (think Madea without the sense of humor, the wisdom or the gun) and pointed out themonitor had been beeping for a very long time

She glared at him. "We were busyt doing other thigns that were more important."

At that point, in his stupid gown and pajama bottoms, he and his IV marched out to the desk, witht he IV trotting beside him like a well-traiend cocker spaniel. He  demanded to see the supervising nurse. He told her what happened. He told  her if Nikea got her large derriere into his room, he would not be responsible for her coming out in one piece, and that when I got there, I'd be mad as hell, and if they did't want a pissed off Irish redheads bitch-slapping her, she had better be banned from hsi room along with the nurse she worked. Nikea  --I think I saw her tonight, but she had the good grace or sense of self preservation NOT to say a thing to me. ANd folks, this is the kind of stuff I was worried about.  It only takes one like that to leave a revolting taste in your mouth--and, yes, it could happen anywhere,m but the attitude was peculiarly Southern passive aggressive"I am in chrage and you're not and I say what happens".  She is now gone. Phffffft. If she shows up again, I will deal with her, and I guarantee it will not be pretty. And if anyone here feels called upon to tell me that I must be nice and kind to a fat obnoxious  tech who decided responding to a beeping monitor wasn't as important as chit-chat--I may not even bother politely asking you to leave. If you don't get that I am holding on to sanity with brokebn fingernails, and will cry myself to sleep tonight--and that  aside from  stark raving terror over tomorrow which will not go away till I can hold his hand in CICUL--I will remind you of the old adage here: Don't fuck with the pootie people. And don't fuck with me. I will NOT be kind or patient.

We had a chaplain come in. A Christian one.  I and Ben said we weren't Christian. He turns out to be MiL's pastor--imagine Tom Hanks when thinner, and that's him.  He understood. He said  that he wasn't here to try to convert us, but he wanted us to know that his church prayer circle are on it, and that we weren't Christian was just fine, and we all agreed it was going to the same One, just maybe different names. So we talked losing cats becasue, he is a Cat Person. So there is at least one Baptist minister who walks walk.Almost enough to restore my faith in SOME preachers--but II think he may be the Real Deal: a Christian who has read the NT, not just the old. Down here they;'re interested in yelling at gays, screaming agaisnt abortion and even birth control, than they are about actually, you know, ministering.  Good guy, a lot my BiL.

It's late. I am exhusted. I have to feed kitties.  Likely when I get home tomorrow, I will write up Torachan's obituary. He was an amzingly kind, sweet, gentle giant. He deserves to have his story told.

I'll say goodnight. I need food and I need to feed kitties, and I need to hug the, and reassure the, Each one came separately, to rub against Tora's head or lick him. I
ve seen this happen whenever we lost a cat.  I know cats have souls; it's some people that I am not sure have them.They knew, and they're mourning and scared. Not only is Ben not here, but I've been gone a long time, and the Patriarch of our little cat pride has left us.  When Ben gets home, he'll get to read the diaries, and he'll get on to thank you. You people along with his family (the Things have not called; I think if he died they'd likely throw a party to celebrate; yes they are that awful and they consider themselves WONDERFUL CHRISTIANS).  Aside from last night, the staff has been good. The surgeon is well-known and has a patent on some sort of heart valve which is sued worldwide for certain procedure. If you have to have this done, he's one of th ebest, which helps allay me fear, but hell if I weren't terrified I think  would not be paying attention or didn't love my husband

Gone to eat, feed kitties and get some sleep and maybe I'll actually sleep instead of waking up ever 2 hours to check on Torachan, to pet him and tell it ws okay to leave when he needed to. And no sleepwalking  recurrence--no strange guys with blue flashlights boxing me in with furniture where I couldn't reach a window... My in-laws don't understand us at all, our religion schizzes them and they're sorta limited in some ways and cannot understand why anyone would want to live anywhere but hear--but they have been here for me, and I can forgive ignorance  and a bit of religious intolerance when their hearts are good.  Tomorrow, when I have been able to hold his hand and kiss him, I'll sleep a lot better, and the cats will be happier and mroe at ease because I won't be sobbing into a pillow.

Good thought, prayers, whatever. And know you have helped a terrified wife who was already widowed once (you marry someone 7 years younger and you figure you won't have to worry about him leaving first). and doesn't want to be the one left behind again through the second worst time I've ever faced. You are kind and wonderful, and I think Ben finally understands why I stay here and have been here since 9/05. Come for the politics, and the pootie pics stay for the community, the friendship, the genuine kindness and the caring. You'll hear from next week.  His Mom is stayiong over tonight. I couldn't because I didn''t want to leave Tora alone, but now I need to be here because the 5 surviving rescue cats need reassurance and cuddling and love, as well as food. common mas, he said to tell Geoffy "prrrrrrrrrp" right back (he speaks cat pretty well as a second language) and I brought him a stuffed toy to use as a chest pillow; it looks like his Cat who was a Christmas Present, another Maine Coon.

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