Jan 20th 2008

Hospice Journal 1: The Next Phase (see below also)

Posted in Glen & Ann, Izzy

January 20, 2008 – Bitter cold, windy. Izzy and I went to the Adirondacks to see Glen Saturday and Sunday. There was a marked change over those two days. Glen has entered another phase, sleeping more, less aware of Izzy, less eager and able to talk. It was brutally cold outside of Glen’s small house, the wind driving the mountain temperatures well below zero.
In side the house it was quiet, the silence broken by the clicking of the oxygen machine.
All week, Glen has been trying to tell me the story of how he got his first pick-up, and how that led to his logging work, but he was not able to finish that story either Saturday or Sunday, and I hope I will get to hear it. He was very conscious of Izzy the first hour Saturday, shown above, but is less aware of him now, and Izzy, picking up on that perhaps, began shifting his attention to other members of the family, (see below).
He stared at Glen for a long time Sunday, then hopped off of the bed and checked out the other people in the room. When we left, he went over to the bedside and checked on Glen, then left with me.
Saturday, I asked Glen if he wanted to hold the carving of his beloved dog Pal, and he did. He held Pal for several hours, as he drifted in and out of sleep. Glen had a difficult life in many ways, but it was marked by an enduring love of his family and his determination to be a good and generous friend. Judging by the people streaming by to see him, he did well.
Sunday, he looked at Izzy, then at me, then mostly slept. Izzy and I talked with the other members of the family about Glen’s life. This is another phase. Glen is comfortable, not in pain and resting well. He is in the loving care of his very devoted family. He told me he was very lucky to have such people around him at this time.

Glen’s dog Pal, as carved by a neighbor. Pal rode with Glen in his logging truck for 16 years and when he sees Izzy, he often gets quite emotional remembering Pal and his loyalty and companionship. “He was a good, good, dog,” he says. Izzy got Glen to open up about Pal, and thus, other things as well.