Sunday, May 23, 2010

Nick walked slowly hesitantly into Kathy’s hospital room. The sounds and smells all too familiar to him. This time it was his beloved Kathy in that bed fighting to stay alive, hooked up to life sustaining machines. The mansion gate was a shrine to her. He was floored by the response of friends and fans, flowers and chocolates filled the front of the house. He was suddenly struck with the realization he had brought her neither. He’d been so preoccupied with her shooting and Nicky’s abduction. Maybe he had developed Kathy’s there’s always tomorrow philosophy. He’d found out the hard way when Angie died. The first and only time he’d brought her flowers was at her funeral. There were always seemed to be two women in his life drawing him in but that wasn’t because he found them lacking. Maybe he had so much to give, more than one person could handle. He wondered if they found him lacking. Kathy’s obsession with chocolate. It stimulates the brain like love does. Had he let her down not giving her all the love she needed and deserved. Did she find him lacking as father, lover and companion. Had his abandonment pushed her into a life she didn’t want, one she regretted. Kathy was so lifeless so pale, not the vibrant woman he cherished. Could he take Nicky‘s mother from him and carry that burden the rest of his life. The thought of her death overwhelmed him as much as it pained him. He took her hand and cried at the thought of losing her. God how he missed her touch, her smile, that sweet scent that was drown out by the sickly antiseptic smell of that place. What if the damage was so severe she’d never wake up and never be his Kathy again. Could he make that fateful decision and end her life? Could he end the life of his lover, the mother of his child if needed? He held her hand willing her his love and strength offering up his own life instead.
“Please God take me,” he pleaded softly. He had nothing without her and Nicky. He was nothing and there would be no point in going on with out them. Why had they been given to him only to be taken away? It was no mystery to him why he could never be a priest as his mother wanted. He had no faith. He had no God. His life had been spent believing in one thing, himself. It was all about the control and placing his life in someone else’s hands was beyond him. Even as his mother lay dying wracked with pain she still believed, still had faith. In Nick’s life there were no miracles only chances to be taken. Battles to be won or lost. God would mean that his life was not in control. Someday he would have to answer for his life, his actions. That thought terrified him and pushed him deeper into denial. The world would survive without him in it and Jack would at long last have peace in his life.
Nick walked out of the bathroom to find Kathy’s doctor at her bedside. He jumped when he saw Nick. “You’re a hard man to find.”
“I don’t think it’s safe to be around me right now.”
The doctor saw the look in his eyes and wondered if it was ever safe to be around this man. How did some become deadly and others just mildly bothersome to society.
Nick cleared his throat struggling to speak without tears. “She squeezed my hand earlier that’s a good sign right?” Nick said desperately grabbing at any glimmer of hope.
“It could just be a reflex. We don’t know what goes on in the mind when someone’s in a coma. The last scan showed the swelling has stopped. We don’t know what kind of damage, blindness, paralysis, memory loss. The brain appears to be functioning but you may have a choice to make. When the swelling goes down we’ll take her off the ventilator and see if she can breath on her own.”
Nick moved so quickly the doctor took a step back. “All I have heard from you is a whole lot of I don’t knows. You don’t take her off unless I’m here do you understand? I’m not giving up on her.”
Once the doctor got his heart of his throat said. “I’m sorry Mr. Dempsey but that’s all I have to offer you at the moment. The human brain is as fragile as it is resilient. I see people who suffer great trauma and survive while others with seemingly simple injuries not survive. Sometimes it’s simply out of our hands it’s up to them,” he said nodding to Kathy.
Nick appreciated the Dr.’s honesty and lack of fear. He had no doubt faced more than his share of hysterical family members. Nick ran his hand nervously through his hair.
“Thanks for the truth,” he said sheepishly.
“Well here’s some more. You look like you’re going to keel over. If…when she wakes up she’s going to need you for a long while to come. If you won’t do it for you than do it for her-get some rest.”
Nick nodded and extended his hand and the doctor shook it vigorously. Get some rest that was easier said than done. Somewhere out there was his son.

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