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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...

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