I called Vic one day when he was in assisted living. He was upset. It seems like one of the doctors visited him and once again recommended hospice. This was the third time in a few weeks they had tried to get him to go to hospice. The reason - all the medications were doing was prolonging his life. Excuse the h*** out of me, but I thought that was what medicine was suppose to do.
Somewhere in our conversation, Vic mentioned he felt like a drink. In all the years I knew him, he never did drink much, although he did have an occasional Coors beer.
I went to visit him and upon walking into his room it was evident he was still upset. We talked a little about the doctor’s visit and about dying. Neither one of us felt like there was any need to rush it.
I told him I had brought him a present and produced one can of Coors beer. He looked at it, shook his head, and said he didn’t know about that. I started to put it back in my pocket when he said, “I said I didn’t know about it, not that I wasn’t going to drink it”. Vic invited his roommate, Vern, over for a toast. We proceeded to talk about “guy’” stuff - cars, power tools, etc. We also talked about death and dying.
Suddenly a nurse opened the door and stuck her head in. She was checking to make sure everything was all right. What she witnessed was three grown men setting in an assisted living center, scrambling to hide their rose imbedded Dixie cups with 2 ounces of beers so they wouldn’t be busted. She smiled and closed the door.
Vern remarked, “That was close”. Vic shook his head. Then they started to laugh.
I set there for an hour listening to those guys tell stories that started with, “I remember a time when. . .” and ending with “I don’t know remember how it ends but it sure was funny”. All the while laughing and sipping beer from a Dixie cup.
Vern offered to give me dollar “for the hooch”. I told him he could buy next time. That resulted in even more laughter. When I left they were still going strong telling stories and laughing.
Driving home, I started having second thoughts. How was that alcohol going to interact with their medication? Was beer good for their hearts? By the time, I walked in the house I realized it was the right thing to do. The laughter and the lift in their spirits would most likely offset any harm two ounces of hooch in a Dixie cup could do.