It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to write. My days have been consumed with the routine of life. A friend calls it a vigil, checking on my mother before work, after work, and sitting with her on my days off. I call it making the most of the time I have left with her. I am content to sit by her side, even while she sleeps.
Many days before we would just sit together. The noise of my children playing is long gone. Now replaced with the hum of the oxygen machine, the chatter in the hallway of staff, and the alarms ringing from other rooms.
Briefly she wakes. She shares a treasure that one day will be a memory I grasp to hold on to. Some is nonsense. She talks about her stuffed animals won at a bingo game, as if they are alive. Tells me stories of what they did today. Others are a picture of what is going on in her life.
I had a dream about my parents, but I can’t remember what happened….
I had a dream last night of daddy, I couldn’t find him….
I had a dream last night of daddy, he wanted to go out, but I told him it was to dark….
Other times she talks about her memories. Reminiscing things about us kids, the grandkids, or even her life growing up. I want to hold on to those stories.
Lately, she mostly sleeps. I watch her breathing patterns. I meet her with a smile when she opens her eyes. I massage her legs or hold her hand. I help her up to the bathroom or call staff when she can’t. If she is in pain I will ask for something for her (when she lets me). I spend a lot of time praying.
I encourage her to eat and be as active as her body will allow. I share with her what is going on outside the four walls of this building. I talk about the weather, the sermon, the craziness of my life. I tell her what she can’t see. It helps her to live. Sometimes I will let the tears flow as she sleeps, as she doesn’t like the tears. It helps me with life.