March 25th, 2017


Catching up - two days

There's no subtle way to put it.  Yesterday the family assembled to say good bye.  May I just interject that this was a truly sucky way to meet my nephew's wife for the first time?

We got everyone.  Bruce and Kris, Bryan and Nikki, and Mike drove down from Syracuse/Rochester.  Bob drove up to Boston and picked up Erica, and Charlotte and I drove down.  It was a *very* full room.  It was a very quiet room when my contingent got there, but conversation picked up once we got people in the room who had stuff to catch up on.  Thursday mom had said at one point that she wanted cookies, so Friday morning I baked two pans of shortbread - whenever I was baking she always asked for shortbread.  And phooey to people who always look at me funny because of my need to perpetually have four pounds of butter on hand.  She actually even ate two pieces.

When it got to be too much, she kicked us out.  Well, she kicked everyone else out.  I didn't feel any need to acquiese, and I doubt she was surprised.  We've understood each other for a long time now - during my wedding planning she started to offer and opinion, and then said "I'll shut up now."  My comment: "Of course I'm interested - I want to know what you think.  Of course, I'll do as I please afterwards, but I want to hear it."  Her reply: "Of course - why would you change now?"

That was rough.  I'm not sure I've ever seen my brother cry before.  But he was seeing his mother for the very last time ever.  It occurred to me though, in some ways, Bruce got it easier.  He *knew* it was goodbye.  They were heading out, driving home, and that was that.  He could say goodbye.  Me?  I just don't know.  Because I'm going back the next day.  So do I say "goodbye" tonight?  And then go back and see her the next day?

But I resisted being thrown out and stayed with dad.  Somewhere after 8:00 they moved her to the 11th floor, which is oncology.  Moving her was quite the production, with her needing the high flow oxygen.  We got her settled in, and headed to our respective homes.  I could stay at dad's, but I wanted my own bed.

This morning I slept in some - I'm tired.  I'm sleeping badly, eating poorly, and just wrung out.  So I set the alarm for 8:00, and got some sleep.  With Bob in NJ, I was actually able to sleep through the night.  I got a load of laundry washed, threw it in the dryer, started the dishwasher and headed down.  I was shocked, and frankly not happy to see that they discontinued all oxygen this morning.  But it's not my decision.  I don't get a vote.  And she was much more comfortable.  They have her lightly sedated also.  But she was happier, and doing better than I would have hoped.  The oncologist seemed frankly shocked at how well she was doing without oxygen.  A priest from St. Joseph's stopped by and gave her communion.  I'm hoping that he stopped and talked to dad on the way out - I could hear him sobbing in the hallway.

Over the course of the day, Isabeau was snapping pictures of Charlotte at Mudthaw, and I showed them to mom as they came in.

She told me that the happiest day of her life was the day Charlotte was born.

Dad went home about 4:30.  I left about 5:30.  As the day went on she got more and more confused, and less and less able to articulate herself.  To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if she doesn't make it through the night.

I called Bruce when I got home and let him know all of that.

I gave her a kiss.  I told her I love her.  I said good night.  We'll see what the morning brings.