When Minutes Move Slowly ...
As many of you know, my mother is 90 and has been teetering on the edge health-wise. My brother, thundering36, had her admitted to a hospice house early last week since she seemed to be having some major problems. I worked half a day on Friday and got in my car later that afternoon to take the ride up north. I had only gotten a few blocks from home and was texting thundering36 that I was on my way. He returned my message, saying that I needed to come to the hospice house immediately. I drove back home, had my wife pack her things, and the two of us drove up to see my mom.
Unfortunately, the inevitable will soon happen. My mom is going to die. Now it is just a matter of coping and waiting. I can't begin to describe what it is like seeing your mother winding down, just biding time while her body begins to shut down and she will take her last breath. In what now appears to be a fortunate twist, I had experienced seeing this once before when my father-in-law passed away. All you can do is try to make the person comfortable in his or her last days or hours. It is an extremely emotional time with lots of crying, kissing, stroking of hair. And as much as it hurts, you pray that things end quickly with as little suffering as possible.
I am grateful for the many supportive messages I have received from blog readers, Twitter followers, Facebook friends, poker acquaintances and friends in general. Believe me, it helps. It also helps me to follow the exploits of friends on twitter or in their blogs to keep myself grounded in the rest of the world instead of being trapped with no outlet in the horrible situation I am forced to be in.
My mother is stubbornly fighting death. And I always thought that I received that trait from my father. There is no way of knowing how long she will last, so my wife and I decided to drive back home for tonight and spend a night in our own bed. Based on a talk with a hospice nurse, it seemed that tonight was a good time to sneak home. She, of course, told us there were no guarantees that my mom would not die this evening or in the early morning hours. I replied that I am a gambler and was just wanting to play on the right side of the odds!
So this month has started out just about as badly as a month could. My wife was informed that she will not be rehired back into her job next school year and was let go with a degree of callousness that I could likely not touch even in my most horrible times. Our sump pump malfunctioned when somehow a stick got caught in it, flooding our basement. I canceled a spur of the moment trip I planned for Las Vegas last week and had to cancel the vacation to New Orleans that my wife and I were taking this coming week. And now we wait for my mother to pass.
Once again, thanks to my friends, near and far, in person or via electronic, computer or social media, who have reached out to me. It helps -- it really does.