Back when we were young and uncouth and terribly lacking in tact.
My Dad isn't dead. But he's 76 years old, been in ICU (listed as "critical") for six days now, and he's still intubated. Talking to my step-mother, I discover that he's been winded and struggling for a long while now--a couple of years, at least. He'll almost certainly try to pin this on something other than smoking, because that's what addicts do. I know, I was one. He'll blame it on the bug bombs, he'll blame it on some respiratory bug.
If he ever gets the chance to talk again, that is.
His eyes are open sometimes now, but she says he seems to be pointedly refusing to look at her. Maybe embarrassment, maybe fear. He's painted himself the strong champion of the relationship, and maybe finding himself in the role of her last two husbands who died long and hard in hospital is more than his ego can take. That he's intimately familiar with just how horrible that was for her (and them) is hanging him up.
Or maybe he's not as with it as she thinks he is. She did say that one tear came out of his eye yesterday.
She's suddenly talking about how she thinks he'll be home for the weekend. I'm not sure why she's that abruptly and wildly optimistic--nothing the doctors have said would seem to call for it. And if he DOES make it home, fact is he's a 76-year-old man who has chain-smoked for 65 years, is now 70 pounds overweight, has a heart that's only pumping at a fraction of capacity, and has been suffering from undiagnosed diabetes for who knows HOW long.
The only way this works is if he gets it in his head to redirect himself and make a new start. And that's if he ever recovers enough to get home. He's a determined guy when he sets his mind to something, but convincing him that not smoking and not eating whatever he desires is something he WANTS is a whole 'nother animal. I can see him going down in a Zippo blaze of menthols and Philly cheesesteak.
Cross your fingers. It won't help anything, but it'll make me happy to think you cared enough to take that moment.