It’s worth repeating. Every day is a gift. But there are some days more precious than others.
As most of you know I was in Houston last week with the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative selling quilts to fund Alzheimer’s research. The response was phenomenal; we did better than last year! We don’t as yet know how much better; we’re still counting. More on that at a future date.
My daughter Jennie and I were called home Sunday morning to be with my mother. Her blood pressure was erratic, and she was unresponsive. Steve, Jen, and I have been at her side since then, trying to make her comfortable and preparing for the inevitable. On Monday all medications except those for pain were stopped. On Tuesday hospice told us her body no longer needed food or drink; she was still unresponsive most of the time. “Pleasure food” (that which she would enjoy eating) would be offered, but not forced, when she was alert enough to sit up and take them without choking. She ate very small amounts of apple sauce and drank fortified “milk shakes.”
Yesterday (Thursday) she was alert most of the day. We tempted her with mashed potatoes, apple sauce, orange juice, chocolate, and even a bite or two of brisket, all of which she ate. Towards the end of the day we sat her up in bed and let her feet dangle off the edge. When she waved them around we thought she might be able to sit in her wheelchair. Just before dinner we were able to wheel Beebe around the facility on a “victory lap.” What an amazing day and what a wonderful gift!
Early this morning (Friday) I got a call from Tiffany, one of Beebe’s caregivers. She told me not to look for Beebe in her room. She said Beebe was dressed, in her wheelchair, and waiting to go into the dining room for breakfast! She has been alert and “talkative” all day, and has eaten just about everything put in front of her!
Please forgive the blow-by-blow account, but they are only the highlights. For nearly five days straight my heart rose and fell with her every breath. I don’t know that we are out of the woods yet, or how long she will be with us, but we are taking things one day at a time, so very grateful for each of them.
If you have emailed or called you haven’t heard back from me, and you probably won’t for a few more days at least. I will respond eventually, I promise. Since my newsletter readers, students, and AAQI supporters know about my mother through the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative, I thought the best way to let you know why I’ve not been available for almost two weeks was to direct you to this blog.
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, and for your patience. Volunteers will help me by posting your blog comments. They are also updating the November quilt auction running now through the 15th. I will be back online again as soon as I can. For now, I’ll update here when I can.