I breathed your last breath with you .......
Watching the mysteries of the intensive care unit , Yet the simple and pure beauty of your breath, my brother, echoes even know , no matter how artificial ! We all watched as one beautiful mans chest rose and fell in artificial rhythm . For one pump of air , then one movement of your lungs . The nurse came in every few minutes to check a pulse , a machine , a mystery . Long tubes of blood red fluid moved from arm to a machine and back to your flesh . All of this happening as your memories fell through holes in the floors of time , back , back to childhood , to the days of summer and of long autumns .
The humble and smaller body of the simple yet hard working man of god lieing before me begged to let go , I could tell that ...... Three a.m...... and the benches of the waiting rooms offered no relief from fatigue , the kind of fatigue that leaves you numb but refuses to let go of you . Waiting..... waiting for the schedules of loved ones to finally connect , waiting to hope the machines will keep you alive . Perhaps even those further from your heart took the longest to arrive ? No I mustn't think that .
The doctors consultation arrived and the young ,baby faced intern explained the procedure to " disconnect ", a cold and heartless term no ? . and as he explained the process , I looked around the room to the already electronically attached widow , denial , defeat , yet dealing ..........and your brothers , just as I , tears , wringing hands and quick glances at the L.E.D. numbers flashing , the warning beepers...... beeping . And my wondering of the digital numbers meaning , the clearing of the room for long moments as the breathing tube is pulled and then a group of loved ones to watch your last breath , the intensity of the power and desperation of a breath is as awesome as the high lonesome wind itself .
No ..... not again ,not now ....... I have often thought and forever feared that the one greatest curse of a big family is in being the last to live perhaps , and then....... in just a few short moments .......your chest rose one last time and your exhale was almost anti-climatic .......the last one . No bells , no whistles , just the soft smooth blanket of deathly silence . And then you were gone . Your pastor read from his notes and the bible and gave you to God , the sniffles and tears , the moans ...........spread life a wildfire . .........Yet unseen by most a hand reached forth and took your soft yet muscular shoulder in his hand ...........and as the dawn began to stir in the far , far east , in the place where long gone relatives and old friends waited to greet you . A very dim light began to climb the mountains that you called home . Good bye my brother , good bye ..............until tomorrow .