We are supposed to have Ed’s annual meeting soon.  His client manager is a sweet young thing who has just taken over Ed’s case.  She called to say she’d noticed he does not have a medical…what? …Imperative?  He does not have a paper that states his desires about bringing him back to life.  She wanted this to be addressed at his meeting. I called Ed.  We chit chatted a bit. He told me that we needed to be grateful for living in such a nice place. I tell him he sounds like our very Catholic grandfather. He laughs. I say, “Ed, we are supposed to talk about this medical power thing.” He gets serious, “It’s all taken care of.” “Did Jamie talk to you?” I ask. “Yeah, it’s taken care of,”  he says.  I am walking to my office building right then and I am only half way paying attention to him. “So do we pull the plug or not,” I joke as I turn the key in the unruly lock. “No..I said ‘No.’  Let’s not talk about, it scares me,” he says with odd clarity. I am his little sister.  There are pages and pages of things I am allowed to get away with due to that fact. I keep going not registering his fear one little bit. As I gather my business mail and start to sort through it I say, “Do you remember the story of when you were in a coma and they told us we had to decide about pulling the plug.”  I am laughing because this is a funny story, and in my world, especially my world with Ed, a funny story trumps everything. “No,” he says. “Well,” I start, “You were almost completely brain-dead for four days.”  My tone is like that of teens talking about a great party.  “And so the doctors told Mom and Dad they needed to decide if they should pull the plug on the ventilator.  So Mom completely freaks out.” Ed laughs because we always laugh when we recall our mother freaking out.  She was very good at it. “So I come into your room.  We are alone, and I remember the doctors telling me that the one sense you may still have is hearing.  So I get right to your ear and start screaming, (there are a lot of swear words strung together in this story that I think I have to delete in order to keep this blog public! So asterisks will play the part of those words), “God ****it Eddie!!! I can’t ****ing believe you are making us ****ing make this decision.  You either stay or go.  Don’t make Mom do this, you ***************************!!!” I am laughing because I so remember this like a little sister being righteous.  I mean of course there was the fact that this was probably one of the worst moments in my life, my mostly dead brother laying there with a tube breathing for him in his neck, my parents in agony next door.  But the righteous sister card trumped all that.  I love this story. Ed is oddly quiet during this. I thought he would crack up over the thought of me cussing and screaming into his ear. Oblivious I go on, “So all of a sudden you open your eyes for the first time and turn your head to me…like a ****ing Zombie. I scream so loud the doctors come running in.  They see your eyes and they do a couple of neurological tests and determine that your brain function has increased enough that pulling the plug is not an option.” I am really pleased with this story.  Ed is still silent. “Ed?” I see if he is still there. “I dropped my phone in a big bowl of poop,” he says. I am no longer standing in the hospital abusing my half-dead brother. “A bowl of poop?” I ask. “Yeah, it was my dinner and I put it down with the crackers,” he continues. “Oh, a bowl of soup,” I note. “Yeah, it’s a mess. I have to go,”he says. After I hang up I realize that maybe his decision not to sign a Do Not Resuscitate is a good call.

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