Friday, November 21

Aunt May

Thanks to all my friends and readers for your kind and loving words of support as Aunt May travels her final journey. Mom & I were up at the hospital all morning and came home about 2pm.

On Tuesday night, the nurse sent all the family members home at midnight and told them to get some rest, as there were no signs that Aunt May would pass before morning. Wednesday night, she asked someone to stay because they didn't expect her to make it through the night. When I saw Aunt May on Tuesday, she was in a deep sleep and didn't acknowledge us even when we talked to her, though I know she could hear us. I thought, as did everyone else that she would pass before Wednesday morning.

Yesterday she seemed to be a little uncomfortable at times, but still kept her eyes closed much of the time. The nurses are treating her well. Each time they go to her bed, they tell her exactly what they are going to do before they touch her.

This morning when Mom & I got to the hospital, her door was closed. They were bathing her and changing her bedding. They put her in a clean gown and she looked comfortable when we went into the room. Here eyes were open and her daughter was there as well. We all talked to her and she responded by blinking her eyes. A little later in the morning, I gently washed her face with some warm water and she opened her eyes and looked right at me. She didn't try to speak but her eyes told me that she was aware of what I was doing. I talked to her as I was doing it and then she laid there with her eyes open as her daughter, Mom and I talked about her granddaughter who is on a trip to Europe with the school. Her daughter had brought a picture of them sitting on the steps of a church in England and we were talking about where she is going and what she is seeing. Apparently there is a website where parents can go and get information and photos. Aunt May was keenly aware of what we were saying.

Aunt May's pulse is strong, though she is losing a lot of weight. She hasn't taken any food or drink since Sunday.

Thanks to everyone for emails of support, kind words of comfort and your loving support. It is very much appreciated both by myself and our family ~Blessings, Mary~

Thursday, November 20

Tuesday, November 18

Update 2 on Aunt May

Aunt May is still hanging on. She is failing though. The nurses didn't think she would live until this morning, but she made it. She hasn't eaten anything since I fed her some applesauce on Sunday night, nor has she drank. She is badly dehydrated, but resting comfortably most of the time.

They have taken her off the morphine, as she was having hallucinations. They are giving her a potent drug (can't remember the name) that doesn't have those types of side effects. She gets a pain shot every four hours but the nurse told us she can administer it an hour either way. So if she is in pain, it can be given every three hours and if she is asleep and comfortable, they can wait for five.

The nurses on pallative care are so sweet. They tell us what is happening with her and talk to her when they go to her bed and tell her exactly what they are going to do. When the nurse gave her the pain shot, it made her uncomfortable for a few moments, but then she drifted off to sleep.

When I picked the boys up from school on Monday, Brandon wanted to know if Aunt May had passed. I told him no, she is resting comfortably. He said, "Boy, she must be a strong lady." I told him yes, she is and she always has been. When she got knocked down, she got right back up and kept going. Then I explained that this is a great way to go through life. Never give up and when something happens, just keep on trying. A great lesson for him and he is amazed. He asked me to tell her what he said and I did. She acknowledged by a tiny smile.

She knows we are in the room and she knows when we speak to her. However, she isn't talking at all and just flutters her eyes or gives a tiny smile when we talk to her. We've all said our goodbyes and told her that it's okay for her to go. Some people need to know it's okay to pass.

What great lessons Aunt May has taught me in life. I will certainly miss her phone calls and the fun we had together, but can't wish her to stay and suffer. I told her today to shut her eye and rest easy in Jesus' arms. She gave a tiny sigh and drifted back to sleep.

My apologies to those who have sent cards. I just haven't had time to be online much. I have 25 cards now that will be forwarded to my soldier for the Christmas card shower. I have taken photos but won't be posting them until I have more time. Thank you also to those who are particpating in the Christmas book swap.

I will post about Aunt May as time permits and will get the cards off when I can. Anyone who wishes to can still send a card. I will be sending out a second mailing later.

Thank you for all the loving comments and support as our family goes through the difficult process of saying goodbye to Aunt May. Each sentiment is greatly appreciated. ~Blessings, Mary~

Sunday, November 16

Update on Aunt May

Aunt May is in pallative care now. Mom and I went to see her this evening about 6 pm. We stayed there until her daughter and son-in-law came in with my uncle. May's granddaughters were with them. Mom and I stepped out and went to the coffee shop for a cup of tea so they could have some privacy. When we got back pretty much everyone was in tears.

May's oldest granddaughter, who is 16, is going with her school to England, France and Italy. She leaves Tuesday morning. I asked her about her trip and she is just so excited. She was telling me all about what she was going to see and about the uniforms they will be wearing, which she said are very uncool. She was talking a mile a minute and I noticed that May's eyes were open and that she was listening intently. When Rachel finished, I told her to look at her Grandma because she hadn't missed one word she'd said.

Rachel looked at May and said, "Grandma, I hope you are still here when I get back so I can tell you all about the trip and the things I've seen. If not, I know you will be there with me seeing all the things that I'm seeing." Wow! I think that got everyone. What a perceptive young lady. Aunt May actually gave a little smile.

When Rachel went to leave, I gave her a hug and whispered in her ear. "Go and enjoy your trip. That is what Grandma would want you to do." She cried while I was hugging her but said she knew that her Grandma would want her to have fun.

Rachel and her sister, Rita are very close and Rachel told her Grandma that she wouldn't see her tomorrow night because she had a lot of packing to do. She told her that Rita would be there and that she would send a special hug with her. What a heart touching moment.

I talked to Aunt May last Tuesday and she told me how proud she is of her granddaughters. I told the girls what she had said. I'm sure that made them both feel good. And Aunt May knew that I told them, as she was still listening intently.

I tried to get Aunt May to eat a little something when we first got there, but all she would take was one teaspoon of applesauce and then she shook her head that she didn't want anymore. She refused to drink and the nurse told me she hasn't taken much food or drink all day. I believe she is shutting her body down. She has fought a valiant fight. In April 2008, the doctors told her she had between two weeks and two months. She has far surpassed that and I am thankful for the extra time we were given to enjoy her company.

The hospital has not administed any intravenous and the nurse told me they are not taking her blood sugar levels or giving her her diabetes meds. The only thing they are giving her is morphine in order to keep her comfortable. She and her nurse had some fun on Friday when she was more lucid but now the morphine is keeping her so sedated that she can barely keep her eyes open.

Please pray for the family. They are having a difficult time accepting that she is going home. But it is time - there is a time and season for everything and she has put up a great fight. May the angels minister to her and keep her in comfort and peace until the time she is called home. It is only a matter of time.

Enjoy your week. I will keep you updated. ~Blessings, Mary~