I guess we are in a holding pattern. Mom's breathing is stable, she is resting comfortably, but she is non-responsive. I think this part is perhaps the hardest thing we've been through yet. We know Mom is gone...and yet, she isn't truly gone. We are talking about funerals and death and trying to think "what next"...but it is not quite time to move forward.
Mom was quiet overnight. I ended up sleeping with Maya in the room with Mom, Dad took our bed, and DH took the couch. I think Dad wanted to stay in the room, but each little sound sent him running back out to ask if she was okay. I was able to sleep...I woke when Mom's sound patterns changed and I could check on her throughout the night.
This morning, the house was relatively quiet. Micah woke up at 5 and at 7 screaming...DH might have forgotten to give him his reflux medication before bed. I woke up around 8:00 and DH, Micah and my Dad were still sleeping. I uncovered Mom, and then decided to do our daily face cleansing routine. I wiped her face with Albolene, then used some lotion on her face. She seemed to relax as I cleaned her face. I repositioned her and then started our day.
Around 9:30, the hospice nurse came by to admit Mom into the program. She was quite kind and helpful and she helped me reposition Mom in bed. We went over their services, different medications and when to use them, and we talked about their procedures.
A little later, friends came by with some food for us for Thanksgiving. We had a great visit with them, and we were so appreciative of the meal. After their visit, my father ran out and Micah, Maya, DH and I took a nap.
We received tons of calls and messages today...thank you to everyone for your words of support. We have been sitting back and quiet because we just do not know what to say. We are waiting. We are in limbo...sometimes it feels like every other day, and sometimes we sit here at a loss and crying. We don't exactly know what to do with ourselves during this time.
Ultimately, my brother, SIL and the girls went to Thanksgiving dinner at a family friend's house. We just did not think it was right for the girls to be here right now. It is one of the few times we have not all spent Thanksgiving together. I know that we plan to do our own Thanksgiving with our own family food and traditions in a few weeks, but it felt strange to be separated for Thanksgiving. DH decided to take Micah up to our cousins farm for a few hours to try and give him a touch of normalcy. He had a fabulous time, and came back with lots of leftovers.
Dad and I stayed in and ate the dinner brought for us. It was a bit sad for us...we know how much Mom had been looking forward to our annual trip to the farm. You see, our cousins finally built a house! For almost 20 years, they have been living in an apartment above a barn, and this was the first Thanksgiving we were going to spend in their new house. My mom was doubly excited because it is a wheelchair accessible house, and she knew she could go and relax and even use the bathroom there. My father and I were sad that we couldn't make it to the farm...and even sadder that my Mom will never get there.
Even if we could have found someone to sit with Mom...we didn't want her to be away from us. Even more than that, my father and I didn't think we could handle the questions. So, my father and I ate dinner, sat with Maya, and we talked. We talked about the past, and we talked about our future. We are about to embark on a huge life change, and I think we are both a bit uncertain about lies ahead.
It is so hard for me to feel thankful today...how can I be thankful when I am losing my mother? I am trying to be thankful for our precious relationship, and I am certainly thankful for all the support our friends and family have shown during this difficult time. I am thankful that so many people care about us, and I know that your strength, love and support will get us through these next weeks. I am also thankful for my beautiful children and for DH, and I know that I'm lucky to have my brother, father, and nieces to hang onto during this time. I am not, however, thankful that Maya is still awake and grinning at me at 9:37 pm. Try as I might, I just cannot get that child to sleep unless she is cuddled on top of me.
We will keep you posted...but for now, we are just in limbo...watching and waiting.
18 months in review
2 weeks ago