Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Prayer Request

For those of you who have a deity of choice, and of those, those who has a deity of choice that takes requests:

Ruth called this morning (read: YESTERDAY morning, as I've just now gotten home, and it's after midnight) to let me know Mom "isn't responding" to the nurses. She's not eating, and as per Mom's wishes, they aren't going to go to any excessive steps to keep her alive. Originally Ruth was told it could be 7 to 10 days, or it could be a month, or... etc.

So Ruth and I decided to go home to see Mom one last time. Sara wanted to go to, so we went and got her, and drove her bigger vehicle (which eats more gas, but will carry all us big folk all the better).

Ruth had gotten it more nailed down to 7 to 10 days on the whole "waiting period" thing. So we felt justified in our road-tripping.

If you haven't figured it out by now (those of you who know me, especially), my family deals with stuff mostly through humor. We had some fun chitchat all the way home, and many laughs were had.

Mom has always been vocal about not wanting a funeral. There's some disagreement as to whether or not she wanted any service at all (memorial, for instance), but I do agree with Ruth that she has said she didn't want people feeling like they had to get dressed up, etc. (or something along those lines).

So, discussion with Wade, Dane, Ed, (and the three of us) over what to do. Ed mentions "mom has some labored breathing, and doesn't really look around". Dane, Ruth, Sara, and I head to Palmyra to the nursing home.

Yeah, "some laboered breathing".

A visual: Have you ever seen an animal (maybe a happy-go-lucky dog, or maybe a rabbit) that has been hit by a car, and is lying at the side of the road, breathing hard, maybe in a lot of pain and maybe in shock?

An audible: Have you heard that animal taking each breath as if it might be the last?

That's what we walked in on, except the animal was the woman who brought us into the world. Sara lost it (this is no surprise, because she is the least skilled at keeping her upset bottled up), and that made it hard for us not to lose it.

I wanted to hold Mom's hand one last time, but she was sorta wrapped in her blanket, and I didn't want to unwrap her and maybe make her cold. So, after several minutes, I settled for stroking her hair, kissing her cheek, and whispering to her that if she needed to go, she should. We would understand.

This was after Ruth stood by her a while, and while Sara came and went from the room as her mood would allow.

Sara went to give Mom a kiss, and I needed to lower the side rail. I told Dane if he wanted to kiss mom, I could help him get to her, or if he didn't want to, that was good too.

Dane isn't very vocal about his wants sometimes, you see, and I do this thing where I ask him way too many questions.

Anyway, as I lower the bar for Dane, that's when he loses it... and that's when I lose it and Ruth loses it. Sara re-lost it to the point of just going to the vehicle.

So here's the prayer request, because it was the first thought I had when I came into that room and saw and heard this woman for whom I have so much love and all other kinds of emotions in my heart: An amazing miracle would be nice... the kind where she comes back as good as she was 10 years ago, like nothing ever happened. Or... this part where her breath comes in loud gasps, and she stares off at the wall like she sees Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Bud and Aunt Deana Mae gently waving her on to their part of the universe, and all the people still here who love her listen to each gasp wondering if it will be the last while at the same time wondering if she's scared or panicked or simply wishing it would all be over... this part needs to be as short as possible. If we're talking 7 to 10 days, I vote 7 or less.

She wasn't perfect in this life. She didn't live her live without bringing pain to others. Who has? But she wasn't Hitler. She didn't go out of her way to cause pain. She tried to do the best she could with what she had where she was.

So pray everything comes back to normal in a very Deus Ex Machina sort of way, or she goes to be with the family that is waiting for her on the other side, and goes soon.

I'd appreciate it.


Peggy Wooden said...

EyeRyt, I wept when I read your "prayer request." Having just recently gone through this with both of my parents, I feel especially close to you right now.

The situation with my mom was that Alzheimer's Disease had taken away all memory, and for several years I had been either her twin, Peggy (who I'm named after), or a kind stranger who came to visit a couple of times a week. She slept a lot near the end, which I think was a blessing, because she seemed to be dreaming peaceful, happy dreams.

My dad was in good shape mentally, but his cancer metastacized to his brain and he was unable to swallow. Since he had requested no I.V.'s and no force-feeding, we were obliged to just let him go. It took a little over a week, and he was kept comfortable the whole time. (The hospice workers were wonderful--have you checked into this for your mom?) He lapsed in and out of consciousness, but right before he died he opened his eyes and looked around, totally alert. I'm hoping he saw Mother, awaiting him wherever she is!

I'm hoping (and praying) your mother's death goes this easily. Alternatively, if it's not her time, I hope she gets better quickly.

Here's a long-distance hug for you, too!

Vieta said...

Dear dear EyeRy, I am so sad for you and offer any comfort I can give you. Death always hurts so much for those left behind. Speaking as a mom I think she had the comfort of knowing that she completed her most important job of raising a wonderful close family and has a lot of joy in that.

From what you have said about your mom I bet she is welcoming a release and would tell you so if she could, and maybe say one of her funny little comments like "who's driving the truck?" Remember the good times and talk of them often.

If there is anything I can do, I am here. Praying for your dear mom, you and your family.

Love and comfort to you Mark.

Byethebye I think giving her the ok to go was so wise and will give her peace as she goes on the big journey.

JMP said...

I remember reading this. I remember being crushed for you. I remember not knowing what to say.