“You keep fighting, okay?” I whispered. “We’re in this together. You and me. You’re not alone. You hear me? You are not alone. ”
5:38 p.m. It was the precise moment Sean Manning was born and the time each year that his mother wished him happy birthday. But just before he turned twenty-seven, their tradition collapsed. A heart attack landed his mom in the hospital and uprooted Manning from his life in New York. What followed was a testament to a family’s indestructible bond—a life-changing odyssey that broke a boy and made a man—captured here in Manning’s indelible memoir.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Things That Need Doing: A Memoir|
|Release Date: 12-28-2010|
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The Things That Need Doing: A Memoir
I probably should’ve left early. She even told me to go. The procedure was scheduled for ten the next morning. I’d have to be back first thing. But I wanted to say it right at midnight—or, rather, since by then I knew better than to trust the unit’s clocks, at the moment Home Improvement ended and The Fresh Prince began.
I got up from the high-backed chair and went to the side of the bed. A full-on hug was out of the question; jostling the ventilator hose even the slightest bit was liable to set her off on one of those awful coughing fits. Instead, I delicately slipped my left hand behind her neck, steadied myself against the air mattress with my right, leaned down so that our noses practically touched, and smiled.
She smiled herself, mouthed her thanks, and ran a hand trembling from medication and ner vous ness about the procedure through my hair. Reaching past my temples, it was the longest I’d worn it since freshman year of college—like my love for basketball, an old proclivity renewed in the eight months since the heart attack and my return home.
I leaned closer still and was kissing her forehead when her nurse came in with the Ambien. (I forget who—being a Wednesday, officially Thursday, most likely Nick, maybe Night Christina.) Before I could step aside and gather my things to go, she clutched my arm.
However shaky, her grasp was still plenty strong. She’d quit smiling.
“Don’t say anything,” she mouthed.
I understood perfectly—she’d be bummed enough spending her birthday in the hospital without the nurses and aides...