Monday, September 10, 2007

September 10, 2007

Aunt Tod is in her last couple days of life, we’re pretty sure. Today at lunch time I took over from Jackie for an hour. She had been there since 10:30. The nurses says they think she’ll still be here when I get off work this afternoon, so I will grab a dinner at Subway and go sit with her again. If the nurses see any changes that indicate a sliding downhill toward death, she will call Jackie and me and we’ll check out for the day and go sit with her and hold her hand.

She’s very red-faced and sometimes she doesn’t breathe for almost a minute at a time. The nurses say that can slow to a breath every two minutes… so it doesn’t indicate an imminent demise.

It’s upsetting to have to be away from her during working hours. Life and work have to go on, but trying to gauge "when" to be there is tricky. The nurses say she can surprise them and go out like a light bulb, without further signs. I suppose that’s okay, but our hope is that we’ll be there when she passes.

She's not that into holding our hands anymore, so that’s good. I think it indicates she’s ready. She seems to "see" others when her eyes are open, and she will reach out to them with her good hand and arm. A couple times she even looked almost happy, although the stroke has left her less able to show emotion than she otherwise would be able to reveal.

I’m singing all kinds of spiritual songs to her and praying the 23rd Psalm for her. Swing Low Sweet Chariot and Kumbaya and Numbers 6:24 ff are all getting a good workout… These songs all relax me and remind me that this is not the end of living – it’s just the end of "life as we know it" in our present vehicle. She’ll be "upgrading" soon to an imperishable body! The one she’s in is tired and worn out. It gave her 94 great years – she was blessed, despite several battles with cancer of various types… like the Energizer bunny, she just kept on going… and going… and going…

And I will miss her. She was a great encouragement to me all these years… from afar, and after she moved closer.

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