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11 entries from February 2021

Was yesterday real?

Grateful Mom is finally at peace. 

Heartsick for the things she missed and will continue to miss - more determined than ever to stop missing out on all the things I want to do with however much time is left for me.

Masters - check

Classroom of my own - check

Me time - what a novel idea. 


Just before 3 a.m.

They gave her morphine for comfort several times. Finally, Mom slipped away peacefully. The hospice nurse said most of their patients pass away in the middle of the night when they would otherwise be asleep. That’s what Grandma Dot did. Mom had her cremated and eventually took her to New York to be buried next to Grandpa Frank.

The same plan is in effect. Mom will be cremated and buried next to my dad, John, in New York this summer. 

I will always miss you, Mom!


Priest came to the SNF tonight

I thought maybe Mom was holding out for him, who knows? After the anointing, prayers and blessings, I was very gently given the boot by the nurses which is completely understandable. The facility is finally covid-free again, no visitors are permitted, yet they let me sit with Mom for 9.5 hours (with two masks and wearing a plastic trash bag over my clothes they call PPE) and they let the priest in too! I am so grateful for the time they gave us together. 

They promised to call me when the time comes. 

I’m with Mom

I was going to try to wait until the end of the school day to come sit with Mom, but I was afraid they meant the “minutes” part so I drove here shortly after the phone call. She is not in pain, but it is hard for her to breathe. She is no longer eating or drinking. I told her we all love her and that I’m right here. Asked her to rest, but she’s keeping her eyes wide open.

This photo was taken 5 years ago, a month and a half after she had to move in with us because of Alzheimer’s dementia.

SNF just called

They said Mom will pass away today. They don’t know if it will be minutes or hours, but all the signs are there.

Hospice was notified. They just readmitted her and they’re going to head to her bedside as soon as they can.

I’m so glad they let us in yesterday!



Hospice will be recontacted tomorrow

Mom doesn’t have a fever anymore, but her breathing is slow and labored. She wasn’t responding today so they called and said I can enter the facility to see her for 30 minutes (The last time I was in her room was 11.5 months ago. Our rare visits since were in separate rooms through a solid partition with a speaker). Claire came with me today because her last visit was canceled due to the 2nd facility Covid outbreak.

Mom’s (101-year-old in July, or is it 102 after all this time in lockdown?) roommate is still there too. I wasn’t sure if Roomie was alive until today, but knew better than to ask. Mom definitely wasn’t responding to anything when we got there, but we talked to her, told her you love her, and played John Denver’s greatest hits, and she opened her blue eyes and had a big smile. She’s beyond tiny with the wasting, low 70s again for weight. She is still pain-free which is a great thing. I couldn’t bear it if she had pain on top of everything else the last 6 years of decline have included with it.

PS If you sent her a holiday card for old times sake, please know we read them to her and they’re on the bulletin board by her bed. I really didn’t think that delivery was ever going to be possible again!


Fever and dehydration

Mom was discharged from hospice 9 days ago and now she’s sick. She didn’t want to eat today. She’s dehydrated and she has a fever (100 axillary which equals 101 for a traditional check per the nurse manager). Doctor notified, just said continue to monitor and notify the family so that’s what I’m doing. Activate the prayer chain. They gave her Tylenol and extra water, but she’s comfortable. She’s breathing well with a good blood pressure. She has a standing order for morphine, but has never required a dose which is a huge blessing. Rapid covid test negative which makes sense. She had covid last year, and received both vaccinations this year. They’re going to watch her closely this weekend. If she’s still sick on Monday, they will re-consult hospice but it loses it’s meaning after so many years. I’m prepared and prepared, said goodbye and I love you, I love you, I love you, and these calls come in and I know I’m never ready for any of this. Just day by day, best foot forward, Mom is calling the shots - apparently from another realm. I’ve fought hard to ensure this transition is as peaceful as possible for her, but this could very well be a tiny blip on her extended journey. I will share updates as I receive them.