Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Big Picture

My niece and I had been trading off accompanying my sister to watch over my mom. On Thursday
Photo from America Explained
I left out the door and then came back to say goodbye to my mom.  It didn't even seem like she knew I was there; which may have been due to the morphine I'd been giving her as frequently as the physician's orders would allow.  I'd stopped by the store enroute to home; the entire trip from my mom's house takes a bit over an hour.  When I was almost home my niece called and told me that mom had just passed.  

All I could feel was gratitude.  In the early morning hours, when I'd watched my mom's body struggling for each breath she took, I'd prayed asking God to just let her go in peace.  I'd said that it was all too much, she shouldn't have it so hard.  So then, to hear she'd passed, was a relief.  I'm encouraged to know that the 1 Corinthians 5:8 assures me that those of faith are present with God when they leave these bodies behind.

I was talking with John today about how  I grateful I am for these past few months because I've been able to spend more time with mom.  I'd bring food over to her house and cook a meal that we'd share together. We'd hang out and visit.  She was still relatively healthy, and totally lucid, until the very end.  I'm so grateful that I had that time.  If I'd been working I would not have been able to spend as much time with her.  It's interesting because of course I'd been deeply disturbed when I was let go at my job.  In the ensuing months I'd applied for numerous jobs.  I'd interviewed for 4 specific jobs that I could really see myself in, knew I was qualified for, and felt I did well during the interview - but never got the job.

Looking at it now, I'm just grateful for the time I've had.  Time to be with hear when things were good.  Time with her during her last days.  There was one night during those hospice days at home that stands out in my mind.  She'd taken my hand and kissed it.  At that point she was lucid but extremely difficult to understand when she talked to us. I was surprised and touched when she did that because it was not something my mom would do.

You just never know what God's got planned.  I can only see what's right in front of me, but God's got the big picture.

Thursday, March 9, 2017


Roses are red, violets are blue  I wish to be numb, for a day or two  Take my heart, I don't want it today  But tomorrow is a different day:
Saved from Squidoo
On the good side, I'm not numb any more.  I'm not questioning inside my head if I'm capable of feeling.

It's just that I can't let go and let myself feel all the pain.  I have to put it aside for now and use my head so I can act wisely.  Seeing my mom right now - more than 2 weeks of not eating and the last 6 days of not drinking - seeing her gasping for air and the rattle in her chest.  It's awful beyond words.

All I can do it give her 0.25ml Morphine every 3 hours to ensure she's pain free.  Periodically reposition her in what would seem to be a comfortable position.   Occasionally hold her hand and say how much I love her. Sing the old hymns she so likes with the hope that it comforts her spirit.

I'm grateful that Romans 8:26 assures me that the Spirit of God helps me pray.  I have a few words to say but my heart is longing with more than I know how to say.  I don't really understand why my mom can't just die instead of going through all this.

I feel so powerless.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


We are all just walking each other home. -Ram Dass  we just talked about this quote in nursing and then here it is on pintrest :):
Photo from Pinterest page
To say that watching someone die is difficult is not accurate. For me it is a heavy feeling that weighs on the general numbness that has been my constant state for the past week.

A week ago we took my 91-year old mom to the hospital via ambulance. She'd neither ate nor drank for the past week despite our best efforts. After the first couple of days of trying to decipher what the doctor was really saying amidst her many words, I realized that my mom was entering into that last phase of her life. It took a few more days to convince my sister who lives with my mom to bring her home on hospice. My niece & I agreed to share being at the house so my sister won't be all alone with mom. My sister cries frequently & asks if I'm sure mom won't just "bounce back". As if this is a decision I'm making.

I'm okay with this all in theory. My mom has been clear her entire life that she doesn't want to die in a hospital with a bunch of tubes in her. She was clear in the hospital that she just wanted to go home. I want her to be comfortable at home, receiving the steady trickle of people whose lives she's touched who want to come hold her hand & express their love & gratitude. Although I'm extremely awkward/inefficient at it, I'm fine with doing all those "nursing tasks" surrounding hygiene & daily life for my mom.

The thing that is getting to me is watching the effects of dehydration; the dry lips and sunken facial features. I constantly apply lip balm & swab her mouth with a wet spongette to help. But nothing can totally ameliorate the effects
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