Thursday, June 29, 2006


Life is surreal these days. Yesterday morning I got a call from the hospital saying Mom was having a bad day and they’d be transferring her to the palliative care ward.

Though they hadn’t yet moved her by the time we got there about 1:00, they wheeled her in while we were still talking to the nursing staff. After they settled her in her room, we went in and I asked her about the previous night and the morning. She didn’t remember any of it.

In the last few days she has a different look on her face, a wooden look, almost as if she is wearing a mask. Sometimes it seems she has a hard time focusing her eyes. I have the feeling it’s from her medications. They’re giving her something quite strong to help her with breathing.

Talking gets her very tired so she talks very little and when she does, her voice is so weak as to be almost inaudible.

It was the day when the volunteers were on the ward. They came around offering coffee or tea and cookies to the patients and their visitors. We’d just finished our Starbucks so we declined the drinks - but the homemade chocolate chip cookie I had was delicious. I even convinced Mom to try a bit.

For most of the time we were there, I sat beside Mom’s bed, sometimes holding her swollen cool hand, sometimes knitting, while old ‘40s and ‘50s tunes tinkled from the piano in the lounge where the volunteers had set up their tea party. (We actually encountered the piano player when we first came up on the elevator to the unit – an elderly lady volunteer with a shrink-wrapped sandwich lunch in the basket of her walker)

We hung around till the supper trays came, when I fed Mom. Eating wearies her too. In order for her to swallow properly I had to turn up her bed, which puts pressure on her midriff. It’s nasty to watch her struggle with ordinary things like eating, talking and shifting around in bed.

We read her Daily Bread to her before we said goodnight.

Today was to be a day E. and I helped my sis. move. I will pass on that, though, and take the bus to the hospital to be there in time for lunch.

It’s hard to concentrate on anything but what is happening right now – or opt for avoidance. When we got home around 6:00 after dinner at A&W, I dashed off an email to my family list, then vegged with HGTV’s 'Real Estate Wednesday' shows for about an hour and a half. I’d like nothing more than to simply sleep through the next few days!


Hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, which I have reserved against the day of trouble?” - Job 38:22

If we look back upon the past, many of us will find that the very time our Heavenly Father has chosen to do the kindest things for us, and given us the richest blessings has been the time we were strained and shut in on every side. God’s jewels are often sent us in rough packages and by dark liveried servants, but within we find the very treasures of the King’s palace and the Bridegroom’s love. - A. B. Simpson (quoted in Streams in the Desert)


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