An expensive flight, day before yesterday, to Manchester, New Hampshire. Mandy’s sister Jodie was there at the airport to pick us up. She’s ever so slightly round with the bump of a girl on the way. The sides of the roads are covered in ice here. Amanda wears her fur coat. It’s an actual fur from actual previously living animals with fur; she discovered it at an estate sale, and paid twenty dollars for this fur coat, which was made from beasts killed from before we both were born.
We arrived at Mandy’s parents’ place. Mudd is there, smiling and looking happy to see us. Sister, Mom and Mandy cuddle on the couch a little, smiling, recounting stories, crying a little. I make scrambled eggs for Mandy and me.
Next morning, Jodie brings Xander to visit. Xander is pushing two years old and may well be the most amiable human being I have ever met. He has a handful of one-syllable words at his disposal, and he works them mighty hard. “nooo” is actually snow, which is intended to be carried to the tub in a large pot, and dispensed into cups there. Mandy is consistently referred to as “mehmeh” and she is wildly popular.
Nurn, Mandy’s father, is looking a bit gaunt, but he is very much himself… funny, personable. He hugs Mandy and hugs me, cautioning me from touching his stomach. Nurn has been disconnected from most of the beepy machines by his bedside. His breathing sounds normal. Nurn has had a port installed in his stomach. By turning a valve this way or that, we can vent liquids from his stomach. So he can drink liquids again. Five hours of talking and holding his hands.
The hospital bed will probably be set up in the kitchen, a place where we can deal with spills and such. The hospice nurse is supposed to come every other day with morphine and other supplies. Nurn is going to be able to take some nourishment by mouth but he’s currently planning not to take it intravenously. “Weeks to months” says the oncologist, but oncologists are all just educated guessers anyway.
I have assignments. I must fix the bird feeder and possibly rewire the home Internet network to be more maintainable by Mudd, and also simplify the voice mail system. Man about the house. I can do those things.by