Weekend at Bernie’s

Lazy Saturday mornings are the best. I can fix pancakes without having to wolf it down and dashing out the door for work. I can drink mimosas without guilt because drinking champagne during the work day is frowned upon in the U.S. I throw some strawberries in there so technically, a mimosa is a vehicle for my daily fruit intake.

Baseball has started back and I’ve enjoyed watching the games even though they’ve been fraught with COVID outbreaks. Since they can’t have spectators in the stands, some teams have provided cardboard cut-outs of fans. A friend sent me one:

I laughed way harder at this than I should have because there’s a bit of a sad, but hilarious story behind it.

During the last few days of Bryan’s life, he was on a respirator. He had flat-lined that previous Sunday and they brought him back, but the EEG wasn’t looking promising. People started coming by to visit, to talk to Bryan and try to reach him within the depths of his damaged brain. One frat brother (in the stressed-out state I was in, I can’t remember who you are – I’m so sorry) came by and sat by Bryan’s side, talking to him about baseball, telling him he needed to snap out of it because they had big plans to attend the St. Louis Cardinals’ opening game.

I was so upset because that was one of the many things Bryan and me had planned to do last year. After Bryan’s fraternity brother had left, I shared that thought with his mother. Now, I’ve got to preface the following conversation with this: I have a warped sense of humor. I love quirky, irreverent British humor. Monty Python is one of my favorites. She’s the same way so the things other people may not find humorous will typically throw us into a gale of laughter. I told her about the Cardinals’ opening game and how we had planned to go and the remainder of the conversation went something like this:

“Well, you can still go.”
She looked thoughtful for a moment. “Remember that movie, Weekend at Bernie’s?”

The thought of plopping a hat and sunglasses on Bryan, propping him up between me and whoever else I could sweet talk into this madness, and taking him to the opening game made the both of us laugh until we cried.

“And you could attach a stick to his arm and when the crowd waves, he can wave, too!”, she cackled.

We were done. The rest of the family eyed us suspiciously, not aware of the joke, but still thinking we had done lost our minds.

We were in a dark place. We were in ICU purgatory, that ominous space between hope that Bryan would come back to us and despair that we were facing the last few days of his life here on Earth. I had been at the hospital for the last month, almost 24/7. My nerves were completely shot at this point.

We needed to laugh.

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