Thursday, August 17, 2006

She enters the room and
asks my father about the
D.N.R. paperwork.
The D.N.R. that he and my mother
had signed that previous year.
“The D.N.R. paperwork?”
he repeats back to her.
And she:
“Yes. The D.N.R. paperwork
you turned in.”
Again he queries, “D.N.R.?”
She hesitates, then says,
“the Do Not Resuscitate paperwork.”
And here he parrots her remark,
“the Do Not Resuscitate paperwork.”
He says it,
it’s rather obvious that a
big question still hangs in the air.

The three of us stand over my mother
who lies in a hospital recovery room
and looks…
quite fragile,
ancient and

“Yes. Do Not Resuscitate.”
And then
my father says it:
“Do Not Resuscitate.
What does that mean?”

And there we have a pregnant moment.
And strangely enough,
‘pregnant moment’ implies
the birth of something.

Something that transitions into something.
Something to do with life.
That which this moment does not.
And she looks at my father and says,
“The decision not to resuscitate.”
And my father,
he turns and looks at me.
His head tilts. Ever so.
“Do you know what she’s saying?”

And I look back to the nurse
and then to my dad.
A pregnant moment.

“Dad. It’s the decision that…
If the moment comes…
Say, there’s cardiac arrest and they, say,
might choose to try and resuscitate…
You know, like
with the paddles…
And you…
You make the decision to let her…
pass on.”

And I can see it click in his eyes.
And there’s a
pregnant moment.
“Oh yes,” he says with a nod.
“I mean no.
She and I…
Yes. Not to resuscitate.”

And I find myself looking at the nurse wondering,
Why she could not say it.
How hard is it to explain what
Do Not Resuscitate means?
How hard?
How very hard, indeed.
©06 Jack Hubbell