Guest Post, By Barbara

Mark has always been a wizard at finding the shred of humor that can lift you out of the darkest depth. That talent was key to my recovery from a bike/SUV encounter last year, to ensuring that our two children survived into their 20s with no homicide charges against their parents and to our 27 years of marriage. He really knows how to crack me up.

Barbara, Mark, and Roxy

There hasn’t been much funny stuff happening lately, but I am trying to follow his lead.

He is now back in the hospital bed, but it has been brought upstairs to the master bedroom. For the first time since my accident, we are roommates again. Because he needs constant care, we installed a baby monitor with “parent” listening devices that can be used when the caretaker takes a quick bathroom break.

Despite tremendous changes, Mark on some level is still Mark. Which means he’s feisty, judicious and always in search of the truth. When I approach with a needle-less syringe filled with melted oxycodone (he can no longer swallow the pill), I get a suspicious eyeball. After hearing testimony that I’m acting under the nurse’s instructions, he allows the syringe in his mouth.

Hospice Home Health Aide Carla, a sweet, pretty Ecuadorian woman, has had her challenges. Thanks to Mark’s years of Catholic school and the only thing that rivals Jewish guilt, however, he knows when he is being impossible with someone who is just trying to do her job keeping him clean. The third day she showed up, no doubt expecting another endless series of No’s from him, I heard this unsolicted pledge on the baby monitor: “I will be a good patient.”

We no longer hear what we once did from Mark Mooney the voracious reader and fierce newshound. Still, his vivid imagination is in hyperdrive. These days he frequently wakes from wild dreams with even wilder proclamations.

Mark: “That is an amazing story!”

Me: “What happened?”

Mark: “I can’t tell you.”

Me: “I swear I won’t tell anyone. What is it about?”

Mark: “Murder.”

Rest assured, if you are the killer, your secret is safe with Mark Mooney. The man is a vault.

This is the latest installment in the blog Closing in on -30- about my doctor’s pronouncement that I have about two years to live.