A Sacred Placeby Jim

22 Mar 2014
7:03 pm

It has been hard to be here and see what is happening to Mom, but this home has become such a sacred place that I feel a strength carrying us along. I know that is also from the many prayers and manifestations of love everyone has been sending our way. Thank you for helping us through these times.

Early this morning, Rachel left to catch an early flight back to Boston. Thank you, Rachel, for your sweet spirit and all the help you’ve provided during your stay. You will be missed.

Later this morning, Mom’s neighbor and gardening friend, Marian, brought some beautiful daffodils from her own garden to brighten our home. She had a big red macaw sitting on her shoulder, who goes on walks with her around the neighborhood regularly. The bird would have been frightened if Marian had come into the house, so she chatted with Dad for a minute at the door about how Mom is doing before going on her way.

Rebecca and Angie were singing this morning to Mom and after one song, Mom took a deep breath and then didn’t breathe for a few seconds. We were all a little worried, but Mom started back up, so Becka just said her singing must have just “taken her breath away.”

We received a beautiful hand painted card from Mom’s brother Tim and his wife Sally. Thank you for your kind words and your beautiful gift.

Betty, the weekend hospice nurse, came to visit us today. Mom’s heart rate and temperature are still above normal, but are down from yesterday. Her blood pressure was significantly lower. We sat at the kitchen table to chat a bit and she went over some things we’ll need to know in the coming days. She asked if we needed any chaplain services. Dad’s reply confused her, I think. “No thanks, we’re all chaplains here,” he said. At her surprise, he explained, “We belong to a church with a lay ministry, so we all can minister.” That led to a sweet family discussion after she left about what it means to minister to one another.

Mom’s breathing has been mostly relaxed and even. It is weak, but consistent. Mom was pretty unresponsive most of the day, but this afternoon Rebecca got out Mom’s digital picture frame and she followed it with her eyes. We took this as an indication that she wanted to watch it, so Rebecca sat next to Mom and reminisced with her as the pictures scrolled by.

We got phone calls from a few people today. Rebecca’s Hawai’ian bishop called with a very cheerful, “Aloha!” which I’m sure Mom loved. He remembered Mom from her many visits to the Carlson’s ward, and sweetly called to express his love and encouragement. Courtney also called to chat for a bit, which was really nice. Mom seems to still respond well to phone calls, even though she can’t say anything.

We’ll be doing our nightly vigil again tonight, taking turns watching over Mom. Though it may be hard, as it is with much of what we are doing here, this is time that we cherish and will remember with fondness for years to come.

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