A Rare Findby Jim

24 Mar 2014
10:03 pm

Mom hasn’t been able to close her eyes the last few nights, which seems to make sleeping difficult. We gave her a little muscle relaxant last night to help her be drowsy enough to get some sleep, which helped for about eight hours. The hospice nurse told us that she may sleep with her eyes open and that that is pretty normal. Mom’s breathing has continued to be fast but even. She still sounds congested, but she hasn’t been coughing — though, I don’t believe she could cough now if she needed to. It’s been days since she’s had any significant amount to drink, but the nurse assured us that when the body is shutting down, desires for food and water also fade and that, from what she can tell, Mom is as content and as comfortable as she can be.

Dad and Becka spent some time cleaning Mom’s office today and they found the original film of a special experience from Mom’s childhood. Her father, David, was deployed to Korea while her mother, Vera, was pregnant. When Mom was six weeks old, Vera had the rare opportunity to be featured on a TV spot that supported the war by filming messages from family members and sending the film to their loved ones in the military (as well as airing the spots on television as a promotional item). After receiving it, David had to travel quite a ways to be able to watch it. That film has been a treasured family heirloom that Mom watched many times while growing up. They had made a digital copy a few years ago, so Dad found the DVD and played it in the living room for Mom. As soon as it started playing, Mom’s eyes shifted to look at the screen. She looked very intent, and it was the closest expression to a smile that we’ve seen in a few days. Her attention span was short, and she was soon looking away in a sort of daze once more, but Becka and Angie both felt that it was an authentic response to that familiar footage.

This afternoon we received a beautiful bouquet of flowers from Dad’s cousin, Bob and Joyce. It was very sweet of them to send. Thank you for your kindness.

Later this afternoon Jon and I went out shopping and I realized that it has been nearly a week since I’ve even l stepped outside the house. The strange thing was that it didn’t really feel like it had been very long. I guess I don’t go stir crazy very easily, especially when I’m busy doing something I think is important.

Angie’s been doing a great job taking care of Mom’s house plants and today she brought in some of the lemon blossoms that have opened and we put them with the peach blossoms from yesterday. Angie also brought a pot of Mom’s African violets into the living room so she could see it blooming.

Rebecca has been very diligent in helping Mom be comfortable by swabbing Mom’s mouth out frequently to keep it moist. Mom had a hard time when Becka sponged with just water, so now she’s using some thickener the hospice provided, so it’s less likely to drip down the wrong pipe and make her cough. Rebecca read online that keeping Mom’s mouth wet is the best thing to do to relieve any discomfort she may have from being dehydrated. I’m sure it helps her feel better to have her mouth kept clean this way.

For our Family Home Evening tonight, we did another lesson on family history. Dad read a presentation he did for a community family history conference recently and then we watched a video about the Granite Mountain in Utah where billions of records are kept and preserved. It was very fascinating. For dessert we had some brownies made by Becka topped with jam that I made. We watched “Smile for Life” (which Becka said got the best response out of Mom since watching her baby movie) and then we sang hymns for a bit, had prayers, and said goodnight.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. We feel a special strength and spirit in this home as we serve our mother. I know that comes from you.

Filed under: Mom, Posts by Jim
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