I'm home for 21 hours.
Gary and Shawn, I wish you could have seen dad this week instead of last. For some reason he is more alert. I'm so glad you came down anyway.
Little Larry and Meghan came to visit yesterday. I'm so glad they did and that Meghan got to meet Larry's PopPop despite the diminishment of his mental faculties. Dad ate 2 pop sickles yesterday (Larry fed him one) with the gusto of a 2 year old and nodding his head with appreciation like a wine connoisseur. He actually smiled at Meghan (I haven't seen a smile in weeks). I think he understands they are a couple and he is happy for them. He is still comfortable most of the time and the once a day or so he is not Tylenol still does the trick. Hospice will provide morphine when and if he needs it. His care is excellent at this time. He is turned every 2 - 3 hours, well positioned, checked for pain and medicated appropriately. I am made welcome and at home by everyone there. My recliner makes a surprisingly comfortable bed.
I came home last night with Larry and Meghan arriving at 10pm. I left my van at the nursing home. My neighbor is going to see his dad in the same town tonight at 7 PM (things got delayed for him) and will drive me back to the nursing home at the same time.
I got to talk to Larry and Meghan for 2 hours in the car, Christie was in bed but awake so we went to sleep together talking about her week. We went to the orthodontist together this morning. I got up at 1 AM and started a load of laundry and down comes Joey so we talked briefly (one never gets more than a brief time with Joey, he is too hyper to sit for more than 10 minutes). I even had my cat purr on my shoulder for a little while. I came to my own bed with my sleeping hubby and made brief foot to foot contact without waking him up but I knew he was there and went to sleep. This morning 3 of my friends Becky, Linda and Marian and I had a low fat fruit and French toast breakfast, chat and prayer. They are the wonderful women who are covering for me so I can leave work so long. I feel so reconnected with my normal life.
Today I mowed my lawn and picked my flowers, fed my cat and will soon make Grandma sauce (most of the work was already done and frozen ahead of time). I swept the floor and did the laundry; all the "usual" things. It felt good.
I'm packing other things I've realized I need or want and may have time to plant a few bulbs.
Then its back to the nursing home. I'm most comfortable there right now.
I have gotten comfortable with the fact that he no longer eats and give him ice chips and sips of water and pop sickles when he is awake and says yes to the offer but I don't push him to take more than he wants. His vocabulary is about 5 words, he makes a few communicative faces and watches TV sometimes. He seems to know me most of the time but sometimes needs a reminder, he did know Larry and made his wide eyed "HI, what are you doing here" face at him yesterday.
I go out walking everyday while Dottie visits with him. I found a wonderful hiking trail or I walk to the nearby mall. I listen to books on tape and read garden magazines. I lift my weights. My cell phone is with me all the time and it roams so I can be called by anyone.
I'm thinking my father is dying today, he was dying yesterday and he will be dying tomorrow. He may be dying for a few more weeks. It is a long process yet it seems so short. I just want to be with him.
I'm happy to have this brief respite at home but anxious to get back to him. I'm so grateful for the support you all have been providing my kids. Susan, Christie has been so busy with you this week and loved the concert. Cary, Donna and Jackie I know you are there for them. Paul, the rides have meant so much to me. Larry, Honey, I know this is hard on you and I love you for taking over so I can be with dad.
Love and thanks to you all