The Healing Trip (Part 13)

Two days after his admission back into Candler, I received an early-morning call from my brother telling me he was having trouble breathing (I drove the one-to-one-and-a-half-to-sometimes-two-hour drive to Savannah twice a day, so I was a fair distance away). The night before, after coming back to our childhood home, I began a frantic cleaning ritual that would continue throughout the following weeks. I started with his room, pulling furniture away from the walls, wiping down baseboards, dusting furniture, sweeping and mopping the hardwood floor. Now, I can tell you that this was my way of coping with what I could not control. Then, I only saw it as doing my sisterly duty, preparing his room

The Healing Trip (Part 12)

I couldn't quite understand what I was happening right in front of me. Only the day before, my brother had seemed better. Stronger. Having a "good day." That morning, in spite of his J-tube balloon having burst, which would lead us to having to return to the hospital, he was stronger than even the day before. But on the way to the hospital, with my dear friend Carla in the backseat, my brother riding shotgun, and me driving as safely but as quickly as I could, he floundered. The entire spirit of him, like that J-tube balloon, deflated. By the time we got through the emergency room and registration, he could hardly hold himself up. As he leaned forward in the wheelchair, I rubbed his back, th

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