Fake Plastic Trees

“We are all just walking each other home.” —Ram Dass

I don’t have the energy or time to write everything I want to tonight. But there is so much to say, so much I want to remember. This has been such a unique experience to walk through. Somehow Vernon has become so much more clear and bright in the past couple of days (especially yesterday) its as if he is being transfigured. But we know now this time is short. He’s already tiring down noticeably. But I’ve allowed an open door. I realize everyone who wants to say goodbye has their own reasons and their own relationship to him. He’s like the center of a flower…and each friend who visits, a petal. He says he loves the company. And I believe its starting to sink in, even to him. He’s looking hard at each person in the room. He tells everyone he loves them. I think he understands.

There is more to tell, but here are some pictures I took today:



Our dear friend Derek, who just so happens to be the chaplain of the hospice group we are using. When I arrived this morning, he was singing Vernon songs on his guitar. Vernon was mostly sleeping. He does seem to need longer sleeps between socializing.


Old friends visiting. We talked about Irish history among other things. Vernon was rapt.


The two Joes.


My mom, my dad. He loves them. They love him.


Justine returned…she’s telling him about a movie she saw with a dad in a coma that turned into a cat. Vernon said he could only follow some of it…probably better than the rest of us could. He was certainly paying attention.


Annie sang the most beautiful song she wrote just recently.


Vernon, watching the video of himself speaking about type in Spain. He loves to watch it, but it makes him sad. He watched it yesterday too…telling me his mom should see it. He was also happy to share it with the ambulance EMTs on the way back yesterday. He wiped away tears every time. He knows. He knows.

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Communion. Vernon spat out his wine in disgust. I should have known, but now that we are allowed to give him things, his request to taste was irresistible. But the rest of us felt that we were on hallowed ground.

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Amazing Grace.

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Fake Plastic Trees