Gathering Aroundby Jim

19 Mar 2014
9:03 pm

Mom slept most of the day. I doubt her rest was very sound last night. Her breathing has been labored all day. Jon arrived late last night and Rebecca will arrive tomorrow morning. We each have taken turns sitting next to Mom to comfort her as she drifted in and out of sleep. We’re doing our best to try and keep her comfortable, but since drinking any significant amount of liquid now is nearly impossible, we know she will not be with us for very much longer.

Angie sat with Mom this morning and reminisced about our family reunion last summer at Lake Shasta. We all stayed in one big house, plus a tent in the backyard. Angie retold the evening devotional we gave about the Jaredites: we trooped all the family and “flocks” (aka, youngest grandchildren) out the backdoor (or the “city wall”), around the backyard (“wilderness”), and in another door to the living room, where we pushed the couches together to form “barges.” Mom’s eyes were wide and she was very attentive. Her eyebrows shot up when Angie described the stones being lit by the hand of the Lord. She certainly seemed to enjoy it.

A couple days ago, I got a message from one of Mom’s high school friends who saw my posts on Facebook. She told me that she’d shared one of my posts on their school’s Facebook page and many of Mom’s great friends from those days responded, reminiscing about Mom and the impression she made on each of them. Today Joseph read these responses to her, and it was wonderful to hear how many people throughout Mom’s life had great respect for her beauty, intelligence, and kindness.

We had a bit of a scare tonight as Mom’s breathing got very difficult, with occasional moments where she’d skip breathing altogether. We all gathered around her, but Mom worked through it and started breathing more easily after we shifted her around a bit on the bed. Tonight we did our regular round of singing, with the whole crew minus Rebecca, who is currently flying over the Pacific on her way here. We asked Mom if she liked our singing, and we got a rare response where she nodded and raised her eyebrows a little.

We’re each taking turns tonight staying up with Mom. It is nice that we have so many in the house to share the load of care.


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