The wedding was for Gina and Dave, of course. i was flabbergasted. Why? And why now? Oh my god, that poor girl, I thought. She’s saddled with these little girls, a new baby, plus she has a little boy of her own who stays with her mother. Does Dave even have a job or does he just live here with his mother? I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. My only concern was my brother.
Another sleepless night ensued. Denny had a lot of pain which we couldn’t control. Tomorrow morning the hospice nurse was coming with some stronger meds. My sister and youngest brother were dropping by in the afternoon. Sheryl’s other son would be here too, with his wife and three children, plus another son. And that night the pastor and a lot of people from the church would come for the wedding. I listened to my brother’s erratic breathing, the clamor from the cat box, and tried to quell the night demons battling for domination of my brain.
The following morning the hospice nurse upped the dosage, told Denny to take as much morphine as he wanted whenever he felt he needed it. She knew the end was near. My sister, her husband, and my youngest brother arrived next. Sis had tracked down and bought Denny’s favorite CD of all time, Marty Robbins’ El Paso. Whenever we got together for our infrequent reunions, Denny would burst out in an exuberant song about falling in love with a Mexican girl. He chuckled a little about that while he listened and my sis and I put a fresh wrap around his fetid wound. My little brother could not face the truth about his big brother’s pain and imminent death. He stayed on the front porch, smoking, pacing, unable to come in and say his last goodbye. Denny listened to El Paso over and over.