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Remembering The Last Moments We Shared

August 26, 2008 was a wonderful day. I went to my mother's home early in the morning. She was not awake when I arrived but I wanted to see her so I went into her bedroom and sat beside her on the bed, I noticed she was moaning a bit so I called in my sister and we gave her a dose of morphine with grape juice chaser. My mom didn't want the morphine (I guess it tastes really bitter) but Karen talked her into it, explaining she would feel better.

Cow

I noticed a big cow balloon floating in the living room, I knew that my mom must have gotten a "kick" out of that (we all know she has a serious fear of cows) so I asked Carla, my sister in law, if she knew "who brought the cow in" not realizing the effect that question would have on mom.She heard, "someone brought a cow in the house" and she started to sit up and reach out in fear- she was getting out of there! That was a huge reaction for someone who had been so weak. I told her it was okay - that we were talking about the balloon and she calmed down. I told "the story" to Paije and Parri, who arrived later in the morning - making sure not to say the "c" word.

After the morphine dose, mom seemed to be doing pretty well. I asked her if she wanted to be out in the living area with everyone. She said yes, so we got her dressed and Kevin carried her to a overstuffed rocking chair. Throughout the day mom conserved her energy for the "important stuff."  She smiled, confirmed or opposed comments, and made jokes. Who knew that right to the end she would have such a sense of humor! I told her she should be the "last comic standing."

It was a little difficult to understand her speech and sometimes we had to make several guesses until we came up with the correct phrase. Then she would confirm with a "yes" or a nod to let us know we finally got it right. At one point I thought she was saying "web". We looked around the room trying to figure out what she was referring to. I realized that "web" didn't make sense. I finally figured out she was saying "yes, rub!" She was letting us know that she was enjoying the rubs and massages on her head, arms, hands, feet, etc. that we were giving.

Parri and I were sitting close to mom (grandma) when Paije came. She asked grandma how she was doing. She said, "fantastic" she had "the best pain ever." We all kind of looked at each other, wondering what she meant. Then she got us all - telling us that she was making a joke. She said we were "far out" (because we didn't get her jokes.)

Later in the day a bed arrived so that mom could be more comfortable. It was set up in the living area, beside the window where she likes to watch the birds who come to to feed. After the bed was set up Kevin moved her. He noticed a bit of discomfort on her face as he lifted her. He reassured her that "he's got her" and he made a comment to the rest of us, "I don't think she is liking this." Feisty to the end, Mom, piped up, once again giving us all a reason to laugh as she took a "sassy tone" with Kevin saying, "How do you know?"

When Katrina, the hospice nurse arrived, she changed the morphine patches on mom to higher doses so she would no longer need oral drops. After changing the patches she said she needed to go and wash her hands. I said, "yes, we wouldn't want you to get all morphined up," and mom taking the opportunity to make us all laugh said, "I thought that was the point!"

Mom was awake, eyes open, most of the day. At times she seemed to be resting; but, she always heard us. When I asked her if she had ever decided who got Aunt Jane's painting she just gave a big smile - to let us know that we were going to have to figure that one out ourselves.

I also got a really big smile from my mom when I suggested that she should work on setting up "heavenly e-mail."

Kevin and I took a break for dinner and I returned with Carla and Ashley Paije a little later. Mom seemed surprised to see me, She said, "you came back." (Of course I wanted this wonderful day to last as long as possible.)

Then, after awhile of rubbing and hand holding, it was late and time to say good night, so I leaned in to give my mom a kiss. Carla told mom that I wasn't the only one who gets a kiss - Carla got a kiss too. Then Ashley Paije leaned in to say good bye and grandma told her to "have fun at college" - a guess made by Carla and confirmed by mom(grandma.)

For one last day, she participated in conversation as much as she possibly could and she gave us all a wonderful day with her. I will always remember how beautiful her smile was to me on that day.

 

Shared by Tami Potter on May 12, 2012 | Memory Date: August 26, 2008
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Comments
Thank you for sharing! I have tears in my eyes as I remember the last time I spent with my mom; Sundays were OUR days and I stopped by the Nursing Home on that Sunday not knowing it would be the last - she died the next Friday morning (June 22, 2012) before our weekly "date". But I remember all the times we did have together; she was my best friend and my biggest fan and supporter; she is truly missed, as I am sure your mom is!
Posted By: Barbara London  |  September 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm   
Last days are difficult, but precious as well.
Posted By: Andrea Fisher  |  May 12, 2012 at 3:30 am   
     

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