Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Final Days

the cancer is everywhere and seems to be now removing dignity and grace from my mother.  She has been in bed for several days.  she has had the equivalent of about a half a cup of liquid, and yesterday morning ate two spoons of oatmeal.  she is weak and her legs are not cooperating with her.

I am spending the night and after what i just went through am thanking God for granting me the wisdom to that.  Dad has no idea who I am tonight or why someone is in his home.  I'm able to convince him that everyone is safe and i'm there only to help Barbara.  He stands, slightly bent over, watching and unable to help me. 

Mom is unable to get up and so it is up to me and my strength to pull her to standing.  she has no idea what a walker is or how to use it so i tell her to put her arms over my shoulders, give me a hug, and we walk...small, labored steps, shuffling feet, shaky knees - we make our way to the bathroom.  We struggle together with Depends to lower them as I lower her to the toilet.  she cries...Dad watches, unclear of why there is a struggle...we repeat our now special dance back to the bed, the entire time Mom desperately trying to talk - the words not coming out and it is clear that she knows this, adding to her frustration and anxiety.

We make it back to the bed and I kneel beside her bed, holding her hand and stroking her hair, telling her everything will be fine and that we don't need to talk about that right now - she buys it - she stops trying to talk...i get her some water for her parched lips and you can tell the coolness and moisture feels goods to her lays in bed, staring, taking her hand...

at the very core of who Dad is he still loves this woman and cares...through his frustration and utter confusion he still holds her hand in his, and tells her he loves is able to squeeze my hand slightly and say thank you...i kiss her forehead and tell her i love her and she tells me the same...she is calm again, breathing back to normal, no more anxiety, no more stress...i watch as she fades to sleep once more and whisper a prayer of thanks to God for keeping me physically strong enough to do what I just did for my mother...

I'm in the living room, several feet from their open bedroom brave and so strong...always there for all of us...loving and struggling...confused...sick...I pray for God to give mom grace and peace and end her suffering with dignity...and yet I ask his forgiveness for feeling this way...i dont want my mom to leave this earth now and yet i want her to be at peace, to be without suffering, to know the warmth of the Holy Spirit welcoming her to life be with her parents...and to be with God...i love you, Mom.  It's ok - you can cross over now - i love you.

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