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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How Can the World Be Normal?

Today I will share the blog from the other blog I post to daily. I hope you will take a minute to visit and read this.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Surviving the Last Days

Once again my mother has confounded science. I should never have suggested on my last post that she was dying. Two weeks later she is still having mostly good days and she has survived longer and in better shape than most.

Last night I took my 11 year old grandson to visit her. When she saw him her eyes grew bright and she sat forward to say, "Hi, Hayden!" What is remarkable about that is she has become so weak, she only whispers.

Grandson was so sweet. He chatted away with all of mom's housemates and patiently answered the question of how old he is and what grade is in several times, to the same person. He promised them all he would come back soon. He gave his great-grandmother the longest and warmest hug a person could imagine. She held him as tenderly as if he were a new baby and she laid her cheek on his head and drew strength from his love.

Back in the car he said he wants to go see her again next week, do I think she will still be here? He was also very impressed with her extremely bright yellow skin, which is darker and brighter than the last time he visited.  At home he told his grandfather she looks very, very sick.

Many of the adult children and grandchildren in her life find it so hard to visit someone so ill. My own husband who loves her dearly and would do anything he could for her, is distressed by every visit and has cut back to short weekly visits it is so hard on him. So why does a sweet eleven year old like to go visit very old people who are medically fragile?

He goes because, "It makes them so happy."

Too bad the people of the world do not have such compassion for each other.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dying...Last Days

My mom is dying, still she greets me with a hug and a smile. I smile back hoping she is reassured all is well, when it is not. It had been a grueling year for my husband and I. The responsibility for her care and moving her and her belongings three times as her needs grew and her space shrank. Hoping the decisions were the ones she would have made. Praying she is happy. We have spent so many hours together, me interpreting her words when the stroke had robbed her of speech. Laughing with her as she relearned to make words but not actually sentences. Playing 20 questions until I understood. Being with her for endless hours in waiting rooms, hospice when there was no hope, hospitals, therapy, nursing homes, making choices that affected her well being. Cheering as she thrived and grew stronger, signing her papers, arguing for her causes, praying I was doing the right things. She made jokes, had a twinkle in her eye, never lost her sparkle and things got better. Then a bad fall and we were starting all over again. Watching her suffer while her broken bones were healing after she demanded more of her body than it could deliver. I have learned how to transport her and a wheelchair everywhere. She turned bright yellow. More tests and the call from her doctor, she has pancreatic cancer and nothing can be done, she will be gone in two to three weeks. Today is day 44. We have lived, loved, laughed. We have taken a surprise birthday party to my brother, gone to lunch with her friends and been thankful for 43 great days. Today is the first day she has become sick. From here on out the disease is brutal. Any hurt or hate I felt often throughout my life have all vanished during the hours I have watched her overcome the impossible. I have a new appreciation for this woman who pushed me hard and was never satisfied. She wanted for me what she thought I could achieve but felt she never had. We have always loved each other but we are finally at peace with each other.  She held me so tight and long before I left tonight. I promised her my famous homemade cinnamon rolls on Friday; they are a forbidden treat, but at this point it will not make a difference in the outcome, if she can savor the flavor, we will both be happy. Lord, this will be a hard week for both of us, please keep me strong. Right now she needs my love, hugs, smiles and strength. She does not need to know my heart is breaking...