Brandon's breathing was so labored he could hardly speak. Yet he answered the resident, "Done."
"Brandon, do you understand what she (the resident) is saying?" I asked and quickly provided a user-friendly, Cliff Notes version.
He looked up at me, his eyes meeting mine, and repeated, "Done."
"Your decision and a fair one to make," I said. Without breaking eye contact I nodded, giving the resident the go-ahead for some medicine to relax him and ease his breathing.
Christina sent a text update to one of Brandon's best friends, who called minutes later. Because he was weak and couldn't speak, Brandon did not want to get on the phone, but I told him he didn't have to talk and we would hold the phone to his ear so he didn't have to exert any energy.
Christina and I could hear his friend Steve (a happily married father of three) promising to watch over Christina and their baby daughter, Morgan. His sense of humor intact, Brandon replied, "You better not hit on my wife."
Tears and laughter. Laughter and tears. Fifty-two weeks and THE decision continues to scare me sh_tless. Fifty-two weeks later and there's no change in tears and laughter, laughter and tears.
|Joey with his brother Brandon hours before THE decision|