Sunday, November 25

weeks, days, hours

*this was written many days ago and newer posts have been made since...you may find them to the left in the sidebar...*


 Just three weeks ago, we were steeping ourselves in the gorgeous Autumn, the days full of their usual beauty and hardship...




 ...encouraging Mom to eat while we sat in the sun in her pretty sitting room...




...finding new thrift store outfits to work with her always declining abilities...


...getting Mom out in the earthy world she loved during the generous portion of warm days we were given,  and all the while feeling all the usual frustration and gratitude and limitation and sweetness. Tho' we had begun to take new sorts of steps...being accepted into Hospice (for the late-stage Alz., not end-of-life), filling out paperwork for handicapped parking as Mom's walking was getting more difficult for her, as was to be expected. But life was going on its usual way.




Just two weeks ago, Mom fell down in her cosy room, as she did her usual puttering around after a nap. There was nothing to trip her, she was simply walking from her closet with her new pair of shoes, when I heard the dreadful thump from the kitchen.

So began a week that is a blur of pain and confusion for Mom, worry and sorrow for the rest of us,  emergency room and hip surgery, days camping out in her hospital room, so many prognoses and questions and finally being able to go home Thursday afternoon, some ten days ago.




Just a week ago, Mom was tucked up in bed, eating her own supper, watching her favorite movies...kept somewhat comfortable and comforted with medicines and her own things about her. I was taking moments out to stock up on all of the things we might need for the long weeks of nursing ahead. It was daunting, but we were stepping out on that journey, and gathering our provisions for it...




 ...making a big batch of tapioca pudding, just as my mom would do when I was a child, filling new shelves with ample bedding and all of the strange supplies that came with the home health agency and hospice help, arranging the room for all that would now take place within its walls, and all the while reassuring, comforting, loving this dear woman...





Then just five days ago, Mom stopped eating...and drinking...and her anxiety and distress grew much larger than they had been. There was no more consolation to be found in our preparations, and very little we could find for Mom except in stronger medications...




 And just two days ago, things shifted again and a peace came down...to my mom, to her room, in our home, in our hearts. She is sleeping, off the medications, breathing easily for now, accepting our ministrations with little fear or pain.





 Yesterday and today, the house has been blessedly free of all those good people who are helping us through this....just Douglas and me...lighting candles, making playlists of Mom's favorite music to play in her room when we tend her, communicating with all who have loved her over the years, making candles as we run low, eating the tapioca pudding for breakfast with our toast, creating an Erik Satie station on Pandora to listen to as we do the laundry and wash the dishes, and glance out the window for quick views of the beautiful, leaf-speckled, bare-limbed, blackbird-dotted world outside.




 We are happy to stay inside mostly....feeling the sacredness of this time. So grateful that our long-held wish that Mom be here at home at the end of her life seems to be granted to us...that she is out of suffering, for always, we hope....that we are here to love her and remember how she loved us...that she is still under our wing.



I am typing this as I sit on the sofa in her bedroom and sun sinks and throws its glow through her western windows...she is sleeping peacefully, her hand on the little white dog that I brought with us to the hospital...there are flowers and a pitcher of rosemary nearby and the painting of her own wondrous mother overlooking her bed. All is calm. May it remain so.

I will keep you posted as we move through what we believe to be the last days and hours.

xo




17 comments:

Dixie Torrech said...

Leslie,
As difficult as these days and moments are, when they have passed, you will remember them as a gift. I remember going through this journey with my own mama and my three sisters. Her care became all consuming and when it was over, there was a sigh of peace. We knew that we had done all we could and loved her with all we were until the final moment. You are her living legacy and a testimony to the rich life she lived by example. I hold you tenderly, yet strongly in my prayers. God will be faithful to the end, just as He has promised. Rest in Him, trust in Him, then thank Him for the gift of this time. He is already there waiting when the final good bye will come to care for you and hold you up with His everlasting arms. You are blessed to be surrounded by so much beauty and your loving family.

Momcat said...

Dear Lesley,
I have been where you are and look back on those days and hours as the most loving and healing time of my life. Hold one another and be calm.

All my love to you, your mom, and dear Doug.

Margaret Perritt

melissa said...

Oh Lesley. I'm crying thinking of what you're experiencing now. And so thankful for the photos you have of your mom in your home.

Please take care, and for sharing what you're going through now. There is such a holiness in a room where eternal changes are in the air.

Megan said...

Dear Lesley,

Your post made me cry - not a bad thing, but maybe feeling how profoundly things are shifting all of a sudden for you and perhaps nearing the last chapter.

Thinking of you and your family, and sending you love and strength as you go through this immense transition with your dear mother.

Megan

sarah said...

I too am crying, and I don't have any words for you, only love and (((hugs))). You are in my heart.

Doreen said...

Oh Leslie. I am so very sorry for what you mom and all of you are going through. I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers.

sending love,
doreen

Melissa Wiley said...

More love from here, thinking of you tenderly.

Lissa

Lola said...

Oh, Leslie. My aches for all that you and your loving mom have gone through. I know the deep sense of loss at this stage of a parent's life. I lost my mom almost 2 years ago after she lost her long battle with a terminal lung disease. Please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers. May these days be sweet and tender and filled with many blessings for all of you.

Heather said...

Dear Leslie -

I did not know what had been happening with your mother, but am glad I stopped by the Bower and followed the link. I am sending lots of hugs.

Bonnie said...

love and prayers.
I love that peace settled in.
Praying for strength and mercies new every morning and sleep, good sleep.

Lynn said...

Know that you aren't just caring for your dear mom; you are serving as a shining beacon to the world, showing all of us what love looks like. I am so touched and inspired, and will be holding all of you in my heart. xoxo

Lena said...

Hi Lesley,

I'm just checking in on you and your mom. I'm thinking of you both and continue to send each of you thoughts of love and my wishes for peace.

xo
Lena

Karen Edmisten said...

Oh, Lesley, I hope you can all be filled with peace through the difficulties of this time and this waiting. You are such a beautiful soul, such a gift to your mother, as she is to you. Thank you for keeping us posted amidst all that you're going through.

Jenni said...

Hi Lesley, I'm thinking of you during this time that must be difficult with the up's and down's. You are doing it all so gracefully though,it really is an inspiration to read your journey.
My thoughts are with you,
Jenni

Virginia Mallon said...

Dear Lesley, my thoughts and prayers are with your mom, you, and your sweet family. It must be a comfort to all of you that you can pass through this transition in such a lovely, peaceful home. Ginny

J. Chapman said...

Dear Lesley, thank you for your "Under Our Wing" post. Even in the midst of your current situation your writing is just beautiful and you are able to portray your hopes for giving your mother calm and peace. You are a wonderful daughter! Thimking of you all,
Julie

Penelope's Beehive said...

Dear Leslie...
Warm thoughts, prayers, and gentle hugs are being sent your way. May peace and love surround you and your sweet mother.
Peace be to all...
Judy