Sorry this has been so long in coming. Even sorrier if you hadn’t noticed. I went to the Book Exposition of America in Los Angeles in late may, visited some friends in LA, then my son and grandkids. While in LA., Pann, my friend in New York called from the hospital where his battle with cancer may have put him again. Just after returning to Tahoe, a forty+ year long friend in Davis went into the hospital with a suspected heart attack that left him very much touch and go for quite a while, and I spent a lot of time running back and forth to his bedside in Sacramento.
I’ll be off again in mid August. I’ll probably try to be catching up a bit by sending out a blog entry every week or so during July, but we’ll see, as I always have too many irons burning at both ends, as it were. There are a number of entries from others that I’ve not posted, and I apologize for the tardiness of my getting to them. They’re up now, below this entry.
As it was, it was hard to justify being so long on the road, for I have a horrible habit of looking at Princeton’s world population counter when I make my almost daily personal journal entry, and I can’t ignore that, in the slightly more than a month I’ve been gone, the world’s increased by about as many people as live in the city of New York. But the specter of losing Bob, and the potential threats to Pann combined to make this hiatus particularly traumatic. Bob was in the cardiac i.c.u. for the better part of a week, absolutely sprouting tubes of every sort. His recovery seems quite likely, now, although to what degree is still unclear. I’ll doubtlessly be on the road again this week to try to ease his move to a potentially permanent residence in assisted living.
As I watched him struggle through one particularly stressful period, it struck me how very much our efforts to save people’s lives in such circumstances is driven by our own, personal, hope that the victim will, somehow, return to his/her old self. Of course, that must be the patient’s hope, too, and it’s really only when that hope proves vain that we have the quandary: Are we doing the right thing when we put a loved one through such pain and indignity in the effort to prolong his/her life?
Obviously, just like the decision to kill a beloved pet can’t stand without the agony of second guessing, so, too, are we torn by our decisions whenever the efforts prove long and painful, but unproductive. But we have no choice, and any other decision but to try our hardest is out of the question. For where there is life, there is hope.
And that, really, is why I’m so driven to save Gaia’s life. I see the threat looming over this planet as clearly as a doctor sees the threat to a person whose lungs are filling with fluid. The surface of This planet is filling with people, yet the leaders of our culture are simply ignoring this inevitably fatal condition. Sadly, so, too, are the vast majority of all of us.