Oh, My ChickensJune 9, 2008
Mom ain't doing so well. This whole bringing-her-home to die thing is on one hand:
a) Perhaps the single hardest thing I've ever been part of. It's at once heart-wrenching and soul-gratifying to be the people who keep her comfortable, even though it's at the expense of her being able to communicate clearly with us. No. That's overstating it. That's just what it feels likes. A couple of days ago, she could handle this dosage and still be clear sometimes. Those were really good moments. Today, between hits of morphine, she was agitated and frustrated, unable to move the way she wants to, unable to make herself understood. But then she drifts back into sleep and appears peaceful. It's hard and scary and sad and painful.
On the other hand, it's:
b) Perhaps the single best thing I've ever been part of. I am inordinately proud of the people that comprise my family. Christy handles every part of the logging and charting of everything that's happened/been given with brains and cheer, and the tone in her voice as she talks to Mom is one of the most loving things I've ever heard. Bethany, who seems to always be there for the worst moments, is grace personified, very like her mother. Bethy rolls with every punch, and keeps a clear head even through tears. Dad is holding up admirably, and I love the way he kisses her hello and goodbye, just like always. Mom likes that, too.
We are a team. A really good, cohesive, united team, and if we had a chant, it would be Give me an N! Give me an O! No Pain! No Pain! Mom says, "Give me dope," and we give it to her. When she can't say it, but looks it, we give it to her. And then we have our dinner in dribs and drabs, as we are able to, and someone sleeps next to her and the next day we start it all over again. How do people do it without this kind of team? I am honored and blessed to be able to be here (paid leave and kind employers make all the difference in the world, too). I am so lucky to have this time. We've told her over and over how loved she is, and how she's the best mom in the world. How lucky we are to be able to do this. I've heard from people all week who didn't get this chance, and we don't take it for granted, not for a second.
So if I'm not around for a bit, don't worry. The Herrons are busy being the best family they can be.