Previous month:
November 2020
Next month:
January 2021

12 entries from December 2020

Two calls from hospice this morning

Scott called to say he noticed it was Mom’s birthday yesterday, and he misses sitting with her. He also said “Your mom is tough. I have worked for hospice for two years, and your mom is the only patient who has been there the whole time.” I already knew Mom must have broken records for longest continuous hospice patient.

Megan (hospice nurse) called to say she saw Mom. Mom was sitting up in her wheelchair, vitals are stable, everything is the same. It’s sounds unbelievable, but it’s true!



Mom is 76 today

I will not be permitted to visit as planned. The current covid outbreak includes 51 infected, but suddenly the facility says only 14 are active so that sounds a lot better!

They will begin vaccinations on my birthday (1/11). Mom remains pain-free, eats about 30% of her spoon-fed meals, and is sleeping even more. I try to be grateful and mostly succeed. Then more and more tears. It’s a soul-sucking chasm in which we’ve been caught, and the release is obviously going to be worse.

Christmas Eve 2020


I’m missing Mom extra this year even though she is only a few miles away. It’s a relentless tug in my heart of responsibility and worry - doesn’t matter that I’ve done everything possible. I know she’d like to be watching Hallmark movies and football, making phone calls, choosing gifts, wrapping and mailing, complaining about the cost of postage. The loss is always raw, but it’s worse on holidays. 


Meanwhile, life marches on. Pat’s last (fabulous) dog was Gretchen, a black lab Peter brought home. This year Matt introduced us to his purebred chocolate Labrador puppy, Layla, who is growing like a weed (4 pounds to 12 pounds in their first month together). Our 3-year-old yellow lab mix, Chloe, is jealous of the baby, but tolerant overall. We’re hoping when Layla returns “full size,” Aunt Chloe will remember and welcome her new niece...

42 positive cases at Rex

Mom is okay, same status.

 I survived my first 3 months of teaching during 2020! Remotely first, then hybrid with a mix of in person and remote. Add in asynchronous days where we have to provide content, but we can’t teach live — with remote learning days where we have to teach remote classes live all day. Covid cases are climbing so we’ll be back to “live remote” for everyone for at least the first half of January. This is a good thing because my 8th graders and I are reading Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in January and February. I need everyone on the same page, so to speak.

 I look forward to going “old school” when it is safe with all my students in the classroom. That’s what I signed up for, borrowed a ton of money for, and so not what I’ve gotten (but I’m in it for the long haul).



40 people positive for Covid at the SNF.

I got Mom recertified for Medicaid.

The hospice chaplain called and said she’s eating a reported 20% to 50% of her spoon-fed meals. Pat is comfortable and sleeping longer than ever.

Another outbreak

I believe it was Friday when I was worried about 11 patients — there are at least 20 now from Rex with Covid-19. There are 9 employees and 11 patients. Everyone is quarantined. The infection spread from the 300 hall to Mom’s 100 hall (the sickest patients). Mom is negative and undergoing increased testing, along with the rest of the facility. They have ample PPE. Visitation has been suspended (despite the separate rooms and enclosed glass window we’ve been using). It looks like I won’t be with Mom on her birthday after all, but I’m glad she isn’t battling a second covid infection this year.