Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day by Day

We are still here.

My mom is a wonder.

I am soaking up the beautiful Spring weather - so incredibly gorgeous. The hard part is trying to decide whether I can be happy (so hard not to with beautiful weather) or if I am sad. I think I am both. Watching someone die brings out all of your feelings and beliefs about spirituality, religion, etc. I am a believer. I believe in God (though not a personified one necessarily) and I can feel happy that my mother is going to pass from this world into another realm of experience. I know that she believes that as well and it is an incredible comfort. But that does not mean that this is all easy.

I really did not expect that I would still be writing about such things, I would have imagined that my mother would have passed by now, but the human spirit and its will to live are incredibly strong in this woman. Could be some of that famous stubborn streak that seems to run thick in our family (I'm told we can thank the Irish for that). We are now at two weeks with no food and a few days with virtually no liquid due to her inability to swallow without coughing and hacking for 5-10 minutes - and that is when I can get her to open her mouth. Really, how is this possible?

Now all of this is not without rewards though. At first glance she can appear to be completely unresponsive, but spend a bit of time with her and you will notice the little expressions - the raised eyebrows, the pursed lips, the smile and sometimes even a wink. She is still there. The other night as I was going to bed and turning over her care and attention to Ari and Brenton I called from the kitchen on my way to my room, "Good night mom, I love you!" and I heard her say from the other room "I love you too". I stopped dead in my tracks and felt such joy and gratitude. I know what it takes for her to speak and to do it so clearly is not easy for her. It was a gift I will cherish for all of my days.

So I am still here, as I have said before, watching every breath and the increasing spaces in between.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. It's a beautiful testament to your mother's sweet strength ... and I'm glad you'll have this to look back on.

Thank you for giving us a window into the process.

Mridula said...

Thanks for sharing. I am sure it would not have been easy writing this.

Maya said...

I love the light in your photo - it looks like she's sleeping so peacefully in the garden on a spring morning. I'm glad you were able to take her home for her last days...

kamaaina said...

Thinking of you and your family and sending you love.

Rima said...

You are very brave.