That evening I returned with both boys to see her. Tanya was heavily sedated, but still managed to lift her head and open her eyes a few times when she heard our sons in the room. While I was telling the boys this was an encouraging sign, the nurse overheard me and said, “She’s been doing that all day.” I was livid. I was trying to give my kids some hope their mother would pull through this and she just shot me down. Later, I noticed our 14-year-old sitting on a chair in the room, a single tear running down his cheek. The memory still brings tears to my eyes.
The next day, we were told Tanya had to get better in the next 48 hours or the chances for a liver transplant were remote. Still, the doctor and social worker said my wife was right where they wanted her to be, and there were signs she was improving. She responded to a request, which meant she could still hear. It was a small sign, but I grasped at any improvements and breathed a sigh of relief.
LIFE & DEATH ROLLER COASTER
For three weeks, we went on the worst roller coaster ride ever. One day Tanya was transplant ready, then too sick the next.
After visiting Tanya one night, I had a conversation with my youngest, who said he didn’t want to see his mom the next day. I talked with him about the possibility his mom might not make it — it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do — and that he should go see her whenever he had the chance. It’s extraordinarily difficult to watch your children react to a loved one in such a deteriorated state.