I just spoke with my brother Ed. He's not doing well.
I'm understating things with those words.
Ed's doing very poorly. He's in the worst level of heart failure you can have and still be alive. One of my sisters just took him back to the hospital. Another sister, Nurse Rachet, passed her cellphone to him to speak with me. I could tell it was taking all his energy to talk, and I could feel the strange heaviness of his fragile mortality through the line. It weighed my hand down. So I did what I do in such circumstances - I prattled away cheerfully.
"Did you see 'Lost' last night, Ed? Whaddya think? Is Locke still alive? Did Desmond really bring the plane down?" I tried to get him enthused. "Lost" and "Amazing Race" are two of his simple pleasures, along with his treasured volumes of science fiction. But he simply couldn't find the energy.
"I'm so tired," he said, his voice so weary and distant, it sounded like it was coming from far off in another world. He told me about the painful and intrusive things the doctors want to do to try to save his disease-ravaged body. Depressed, he said again, "I'm just so tired." Each word took so long to come out. I could count my own breaths between syllables.
Then he said this, which broke my heart: "If I ever come home again, I'll try to finish watching 'Lost', and we can talk about it. If I ever come home."
This day had promise. Now, it is diminished.
Seeking some light in the coming dark,