I wake up suddenly. It is1:00 a.m., but it’s not very often he actually attempts to call my name and I can’t wait to hear what is happening.
“My pillow.” (said in his soft thick tongued voice which sounds almost like an accent. He never used to sound like this.)
“Oh, your pillow is on the floor! You lost it. Is that better?” (after arranging his head on the pillow again).
“I’m hungry”, he says, as he reaches for my hand.
“Oh no, and I’ve already given you extra before bedtime. I can give you some water though, and maybe a little “food” with it, in the tube.”
I warm up the water and take the leftover formula out of the fridge, load the bag and prime the tube, hook him up and start the drip. He wants to talk more.
“Are you happy?” (Something he’s never asked before).
“No, not really. I’m sad that you’re sick.”
“I’m not sick.”
“It seems like you are, but are you happy?”
“Yes, and I want a cup of coffee. Can you make a cup of coffee?”
“We don’t usually drink coffee in the middle of the night, when we want to sleep.”
“It would make me very happy if you would make me a cup of coffee.”
I can’t believe he’s asking this in such a sweet, almost begging manner. Of course I will make him some coffee. I do the Keurig thing and take it over to him. He has a spoonful.
“You can take a sip” he says.
“I’m going back to bed when we’re done so I’m not going to have more. I took a sip just to make sure it wasn’t too hot for you.”
“I called you here to see if you could make sandwiches for the men.”
This is an odd twist and I’m not sure where it’s going… “what men?”
“The men out on the street. I thought maybe you had sandwiches in the freezer and we could give them some.”
I remind him that he called me to get his pillow, and because he was hungry, but he remembers none of that. After I tell him again about the stroke and how his body doesn’t obey his brain anymore, he tells me I’m exaggerating. I count the months since he’s been unable to walk, or eat or do anything for himself. He stops talking and I ask him why – it’s because I’m arguing with him.
I can tell the feeding is making him sleepy. He says his stomach feels better. I tell him that it was nice of him to think of hungry men on the street and want to feed them. He had about four tablespoons of coffee during our conversation, so I put the rest away, cover him, and turn out the light.