Dad is listening to the Lawrence Welk show. The crease in his brow softened since we put the video tape in a few minutes ago. He has not eaten food for 7 days. He is not drinking water. His condition “took a turn” on Friday as his body began the final stages of shutting down. Paul and I arrived straight from the airport late Saturday night after completing the Nestle chocolate sculpture commission in Wisconsin. Robin and I are taking shifts; Dad is in the TV room next to the living room where we can keep watch. He spent most of the last weeks in his old blue easy chair but it grew uncomfortable for him so a hospital bed was delivered earlier today.
Monthly Archives: May 2010
After pulling an all nighter in the BIG tent at the festival grounds, Paul and I finished 1.5 hours before the unveiling – just enough time to grab a shower before meeting the press. We “wowed ‘em.” Felt good! Blurry-eyed, plumb tuckered, and in desperate need of a nature fix, we left the festival grounds for a short walk to the lake. Passing a nail salon on the way; we stumbled into the air conditioned space. Paul passed out in a chair while a cute little oriental girl worked at getting the chocolate, paint, and silicone from my battered hands. We wandered along the lake in a daze, plopped our weary bodies onto the grass, and looked up at blue sky through shimmering green leaves of a giant tree. White blooms danced and Eddie Brickel sang from the speakers which surrounded the lake in the town park. I admired my silver sparkle fingernails, felt deeply thankful for Paul’s help and support, and thought about the tears which glistened in the plant manager’s eyes at the unveiling as he thanked me for our passionate effort during a difficult time. I felt blessed. Relieved. Thankful. Paul and I returned to our hotel, pulled the shades, turned the air conditioning onto full blast and fell asleep at 6:30. Unaccustomed to sleeping more than a few hours at a time during the last few weeks; I woke three hours later and decided to attend the Chocolate and Wine Indulgence event at the festival. A full moon nudged its way through heavy low clouds determined to outshine the bright garish carnival lights of the festival. My father and mother fill my thoughts. Dad’s nauseous body has rejected any attempts at eating for the last four days. Mom sounds a bit lost. I want to go home.
(photos and video will be posted soon…)
The inevitability of loss looms over my soul and stabs my heart like the owl who pierces the still night by screeching under a thin slice of moon outside my window. I hope father is sleeping peacefully with mom. Eyelids impossibly heavy, he rests more each day. Sometimes Dad slurs his words and doesn’t finish his sentences. Yet he gets out of the chair and scoots around the yard with his walker filling the bird feeders. The whites of his eyes darken more yellow each day. His body shrinks. Dad misses the ability to read since jaundice weakens eye muscles but his spirit gets him out of the chair without assistance, up and down stairs, into his little black pickup to “drive the fence” and check the horses.
written early Monday morning…
Mom and Dad had a much-needed quiet day at home. They are both understandably exhausted. Just over a week has passed since last Saturday when I drove Dad home from his two-night stay at the hospital. Since then Hospice care began, Howard and his family arrived from Minnesota, Robin arrived from Tennessee, the kitchen floor was ripped up and new flooring installed (Dad insisted), Dad’s older brother Keith came from Nebraska for a visit with his daughter. Carl (Dad’s brother) and his wife (my aunt MaryJane) arrived. Meetings were held in our home with the funeral home director. Documents were signed. A washing machine leaked into the basement. Meals were given by friends and appreciated by my family. A skit was performed by the grandchildren and their new friends (my boyfriend’s children). Rounds of nausea, pain, and itching skin (a condition of jaundice) are being controlled with carefully recorded medications. Stories have been woven with laughter and tears.
Dad perked up after I got him home last weekend and my brothers arrived. Hospice is on board with daily visits and medications.
Dear family and friends,