At St. Luke's they have several "family" rooms adjacent to the various ICU suites, each about 10 x 12, each with a sofa and lamps and a couple of chairs and a telephone. A place for families of critically ill patients to hang out, make calls, take naps, get some sleep, and so forth. I'm sure at least one of our conversations with Dr. Mims took place there.

I spent a good bit of Thursday morning going through our address book, making calls and telling people the bad news. Eventually they started drifting in. Jeremy's colleagues Linda and Steve and Alex all came by, as did Dr. Hunter, the chair of pathology and the person who recruited Jeremy to come to Houston in the first place. And many dear friends - Steve Lloyd, Bryan Frazier, Kevin Davis, Calvin Loman. I'm sure Hunt came by at some point. And then, out of the blue, Thom and Patrick from Dallas were there.

From time to time I'd look out the window and I could traffic going by on Holcombe. Or the sun would be shining. Or it would be raining. Or it was dark again. More than one person said, "This doesn't seem real, it's like we're watching television or a movie or something. He just looks like he's sleeping." I remember it seeming hyperreal, vivid and intense. The feel of his hand in mine. The sweat on his brow when he was feverish. The slight swelling of his eyelids. The stubble on his cheek.

I took care of things. I asked questions. I made sure people were staying fed and getting sleep. I talked on the phone constantly. Eventually I went home for a little while that afternoon. I was by myself. I sat down at the dining room table and sobbed and sobbed. No work to do, no one to tell the story to, a good time for it.

When I was writing last night I couldn't remember when Eden showed up. It seemed like he was there from the very beginning, but I knew that couldn't really be the case. The first people I called were Ron and Becky and that didn't happen until after 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Eden writes:

I arrived on Flight 666 from Atlanta at about 9:00 p.m. on July 5th, and when I arrived I phoned you. You were at the hospital. You came to the airport with the kids, who were en route to the house to clean up and sleep. We stopped at Jack in the Box on the way home and ate. I got a chicken supreme. We dropped the kids at the house, then headed over to the hospital. Jeremy's family was already there, and I met them, explained all about the medical stuff. Some friends came over, including Steve, then he took a bunch of people to friends [and to my place] to get some sleep.

You ran some people back over to your house, then came back, we hung out, I schmoozed the nurses, we talked a lot, helped, and cried a little. After Ron/Becky had slept a few hours, they called and said they were coming over early, but we told them not to worry, to come later and sleep in because the doctors did not have all the results yet.

Actually, I think Steve and the kids and Thom and Patrick were at our place, Jocelin and Larry and Melissa at Steve Lloyd's etc. Ron and Becky stayed at the hospital and Ron slept in the "family room."

We went downstairs to the McDonald's and had some food, and there was the little adventure of trying to find the cafeteria.

Most of which I remember, now that he mentions it.

Continued

RPJ


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