We are still here in San José. Wolf remains in the ICU, uncomfortable, frustrated, miserable. The Guindons take turns coming down the mountain to spend time with him as they also tend to their families and responsibilities. I’ve remained here cared for by my loving friends Edin and Lorena, and nurse Stefany is here throughout the week. All of our combined love and vigilance hasn’t been able to move Wolf towards a more peaceful place.
The doctors say that he is responding to the antibiotics, coming out of the pneumonia. The sad truth, even they admit, is that Wolf may very likely survive this crisis, but another one will be right around the corner and he will continue to suffer until he finally gets to rest. It is truly miraculous the strength of this man.
It has been very hard to only be able to spend two hours each day with him while he is in the intermediate care ward. Sometimes we don’t even get that, if the nurses are busy with another patient and we are asked to leave, or if Wolf is asleep during that window of opportunity. We do what we can.
So what morsels of good news can I share? The other night, the nurses gave us some ice cubes inside a wad of cotton. We could hold that for Wolf to suck on and get a little moisture into his parched mouth. I also wrung cool drops from it onto his forehead…he held his head back, mouth open, as if he were standing under a cool waterfall in the forest, feeling the fresh cold water on his face. For but an instant, we were both in Peñas Blancas.
We can sing to him. When Lucky visits, she has special songs, such as “their” song Side by Side, that she sings with him, but as she told me after her last visit, it is hard for her to get through the songs without breaking down. Melody and Ricky also sing for him songs that have meaning between them. I sing “You are my sunshine” each time I am with Wolf, and he joins in. We don’t see many smiles from him these days, but he crinkles his eyes in a response that you know means that he appreciates that we are there.
When his bed is cranked up so that he is in a higher sitting position, he can look out the window and there are two trees close by…one looks like a gavilan, the other is a young mango. I asked him if birds come to them, and he said yes, tho, in all honesty, I don’t know if he can see that far that well. He has one good eye, from the cataract laser surgery he had in October, so hopefully he really can see those trees, the closest thing to a forest within his reach. Any sign of nature – a rogue fly, an adventurous ant, a simple breeze rustling the curtains – ignites a spark in his eyes.
Unfortunately, he isn’t drugged or sleeping constantly, which only serves to give him too many hours alone, restless, and frustrated being in bed. And we know that he doesn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. He has asked us to stop the machines, and said that he wants to die many times. Wolf knows that this is no way to live, and we all know it is a cruel way to finish a life spent not only protecting the surrounding forests, but wandering joyfully in his beloved woods, appreciating, more than most, the glorious creation with his independent and exuberant spirit.
As long as the doctors say that he is improving, but not enough to take him home, we are at a loss ourselves as to what to do. We wait for him to be moved back to a room where we can spend more time with him. We bring him love, encourage him to eat so that they will release him, and attend him when possible. We ask you all to join us and hopefully our united love and prayers will help him find peace.