Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day 15 continued

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I have picked up a nasty, morbid habit.

I count the number of seconds between each of Mom's breaths.

Some naps, she'll go 12 or 13 seconds before breathing. Other times, it may be six or seven. They say as we approach the final hours, her breathing will slow to just a few times a minute.

But during this nap, I was interrupted by one of my Mom's friends. She encouraged me to go outside to enjoy the unseasonably warm October day by the lake. Mom's friends stop by every day in shifts. They bring flowers for her, meals for the family. For the msot part, I have lost my appetite, eating only one full meal a day. but taht doesn't even compare to my Mom. She's down to maybe a bite a meal. Sometimes, she doesn't eat at all. And the only liquid she takes in is Pepsi. And that's just enough to swallow her meds.

Her doctor can't say if we're off the roller coaster. But he did say her visions are part of the "process." After pointing out my deceased grandfather, Mom appeared to be ordering a two-piece chicken meal at the Mr. Chicken counter because, after all, Wednesday is senior day.

However one of the most heartbreaking moments for me to watch was evcen after these incidents. As I knit my scarf, Mom began to scream (which at this point is more like a loud whisper).

"Boo!"

"Boo!"

"Boo!"

Then she exclaimed, "what a handsome grandson!"

I realized she was playing peek-a-boo with my nephew, an infant who lives out of town. My mother believed he was sitting on her hospice bed.

There were several other visions to follow. I can look back at them and smile with wonder. But I will admit they frighten me. I am not scared of or for Mom. But I fear the end is approaching quicker than I imagined.

For six years, we have known about Mom's brain tumor. We prayed. We prepared. Yet this week came with a furor I have never felt.

It's 70 degrees out right now and I wish my Mom had the strength to come out and enjoy it.

Because all I can think is this may be the last warm day we'll have Mom on this earth.

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