Tuesday, February 7, 2023


 The Two Beds

The Two Beds

Tuesday, February 7, 2023


It’s early, 5:31 a.m. to be exact and still very dark. Shadows of light streaming in from night-lights streak the walls. 

Lying in the middle of the Big Bed, I’m tired but wide awake. 

Ross is peacefully sleeping in the bed next to me. It's a narrow bed with cold chrome metal rails. I can hear his quiet breathing, in and out, in and out. 

I am thinking of the last time we were together in the Big Bed.  It too was early morning, a few weeks ago. twenty-six days to be exact.   

I was snuggled up to him, my arms across his thin bony chest.  

I painfully recall that I was softly crying, murmuring  a lot of “I’m sorries”. 

“I’m sorry I got angry,” I whispered.  

“It’s just that I’m tired, so tired.”  

"I'm so sorry." 

All that week Ross had been particularly restless during the day but even more so at night. 

That night I woke in the middle of the night to find him wandering around the bedroom, pointing and gesturing, lecturing to his long-ago students.

“Ross,” I grumpily and harshly said, “come back to bed!" 

After several more futile attempts to urge him back into the bed, raising my voice louder each time, I impatiently got out of bed, took his arm and and tried to lead him towards the bed. 

He shook my hand away, mumbling something about his students. 

Frustrated, I sat on the edge of the bed, not knowing what to do. 

An hour later, now 5:30 a.m., I could see he was slowing down. 

I stood up and once again took his arm. This time he let me lead him towards the bed. I helped him in and he immediately fell asleep. 

Little did I know, as I held onto him, whispering my apologies, that it would be the last time we would be together in the Big Bed. 

Later that morning, as I tried to get Ross dressed, he was unable to stand and could not lift himself out of the wheelchair. 

I had to call 911. 

He spent 4 days in the hospital with no improvement. 

During those 4 days I made arrangements to have a hospital bed brought into the house and put next to the Big Bed.   

He is now bedridden, confined to the narrow bed with the cold chrome metal rails. 

Each evening, 9:15 to be exact, I stand by the narrow bed. I lean over and stroke his silver hair.

“I’m going to get my PJ’s on now,” I say." 

"Then I’m going to go to sleep right next to you, okay?”

I lean over the chrome barriers to kiss his forehead. 

“I love you. You are my favorite.  You’re my sweetheart.” 

Although he doesn’t respond, I know he understands. 

As I hold tightly onto those icy barriers, with not even the heat from the palms of my hands warming them, I yearn to crawl in next to him one more time.