Sunday, January 07, 2007


Sunrise on the Rivanna, © Joan Z. Rough, 2007

This is what the river looked like yesterday morning as I opened the drapes around 6:30 A.M. We had slept all night with windows wide open as the temperatures remained in the upper 50's all night. At 9:30 A.M. the temperature on our screened in porch, in the shade, was 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The month is January. This is more like May weather. There are daffodils blooming down at the UVA boat house and some are getting ready to burst forth here in my yard.

Things are beginning to settle down here after our very traumatic holidays. My mother is settling into the nursing home. Being the closest one to her at this time, I became the target of her anger over her recent loss of mobility ... which is very natural. I took a few days off from seeing her, but now we're right back at loving each other again. Praise Be!!

I feel as though I'm riding the biggest roller coaster in the world, right now, trying to keep myself from jumping out of the car before the ride comes to an end. During my high school days I lived on Long Island. My friends and I would always go to Coney Island the last weekend in August, to celebrate the end of another wonderful summer. I always rode the roller coasters ... little nothings compared to the super coasters of today ... and I loved the parachute jump the best. It was all chills and thrills. But this ride is different. There are chills and it's been VERY bumpy, but there are no thrills.

My mom has lost about 10 pounds in the last few weeks and I continue to think it's the food at the home, which she doesn't eat much of because it's pretty bad. Today we brought her Starbuck's coffee ice cream, her most favorite food in the world and she ate it with gusto. I continue to pray it's only the bad food that is causing her to lose weight.

Hospice is involved with her care now and those real live angels check in with her daily to see what she needs and to monitor her pain meds. Many people believe that Hospice is only to be called at the very end of a family member's life, but it is a program about living and being comfortable each and every day ... sometimes for years. There is support for the entire family and they become an additional pair of eyes and ears keeping watch over her. I was told that when Hospice is involved in the care of nursing home patients, the quality of their care goes up. I see this happening already. That alone makes my days easier and I'm able to be there for her without making myself a basket case ... though it's still not an easy time.

Thank you all for your prayers and good wishes. They will keep us going through the coming months.


Visual-Voice said...

I'm with you in spirit. Big HUGS.

deirdre said...

The past couple days have been truly beautiful here too, but still cold. I'm going to run out and check my daffodils now, maybe they're up and I just haven't noticed.

I'm so sorry you're going through this difficult time with your Mom. Hospice does amazing work.