Mom and I are keeping watch as my father enters his final hours on Earth. The turn he took late last week has resulted in a nose dive. His pain continued unresolved until Hospice changed his medicine medical delivery system yesterday. Now his face has a look of comfort and rest. His body has lost the rigidity the other medications could not conquer.
Nursing personnel have visited daily. A change made here and there to maximize care. Yet, it feels like there's nothing to do but wait. There are things to say, but strangely, I believe he knows everything we think and feel about him. Love. No-strings-attached love, but nothing like a little reinforcement.
This past week as I sat with Dad, I felt something - a shadow, a presence. I shook it off saying to myself, "I must be more tired than I thought." On the following days, as the Aide worked on Dad's personnel care other "occurances" happened. On Monday as we turned him he said, "I'm not going to take this **** much longer. On Wednesday, I heard him say, "But, I don't want to go." I attributed the latter remark to some delusion, but I'm not certain. All along, I've felt forces at work that I couldn't see or hear. Yet, feeling comfortable that something, Someone, bigger than me had come to our aid.
What Dad's final hour may look like remains to be seen. His life has affected mine this past four years in ways I could never have imagined. Yet, I am fixated on each moment. Listening to each breath, feeling his forehead, insuring his mouth is moist, and insuring my mother has her private time with her husband. I'm a product of a marriage, not an active participant in their private love story. There are things to be said to each other. Things that my husband and I said to each other that no one else should be involved.
One of the aides told me that I'd know when the end was at hand. He said I'd feel a presence. That I would know someone else had arrived to be with us. I like that. As an only child, the future does not hold that siblings are on the way. Nor are distant relatives. I welcome a heavenly visitor.
As many television programs promise "reality" scenarios each week, I wonder if folks studied end of life issues or walked with someone to the end, if they would buy in to this genre or if people would be interested. For me to understand death forces me to live life large, not from an aspect of materialism, but from one of love.
The poor little kitchen lays trashed. I'd make a meal for Mom to enjoy, only to return to Dad's care. I don't have time for pots, pans and dishes. My only hope if we do receive a divine presence, neatness doesn't count and that angels and saints realize just what a great guy they've called.
Links to the Outside World
- ▼ July (10)