Friday, April 4, 2008

With Heavy Heart

For the second time Robert and I are faced with the possibility of losing a parent. The first time was about a year and a half ago when my daddy was very ill. I had to face the fact that not only was I getting older but so were my parents. I have felt nothing but joy since I have seen daddy get better and back to himself even if himself is a bit slower. I praise God that Daddy is here and pray that he will be for a long time yet.

Now we are facing the imminent passing of Robert's mother. She was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday because she was having pain when she swallowed and yesterday she was diagnosed with an aneurysm on the aorta near her esophagus. Because of the location of the aneurysm and her frail condition brought on by COPD the heart surgeon said he would not do surgery. She is now at home with Hospis tending her.

Robert is in Amarillo with his dad and siblings taking care of all the things that have to be tended to. Just from talking to him on the phone I can tell it has been very hard on him. He has never been what I call a nurturing person. Sitting in a hospital or visiting the sick is something he does pretty much only when forced to. In our conversations he is very subdued. He has been forced to accept the fact that his mother is not going to live much longer. As a matter of fact, we will all be surprised is she lives much past next week.

Helen is very tired. She is tired of fighting for every breath she takes and is ready to be in a body that doesn't have to fight for air all the time. The home health nurse told them that she would probably go from the COPD before the aneurysm. She also told them not the push her to do anything she didn't want to do. Why force her to take pills that are not going to help her? Why deprive her of the things she likes? Their (the kids' and Gene's) job now is to keep her comfortable and be happy to be with her. I'm sure that is easier said than done, but I think Robert is really trying to do just that. In our phone exchange, he said instead of talking about all the things that have been done wrong in the past they are just trying to think about the things they are going to do now.

The grandchildren who live close have all gone to see her. Amy has taken the great-grand babies to visit. These are the ones Helen has requested to see. Her sisters are all coming in this week-end and Monday. That is why I think she will not last long. My heart is sad, but I know she will be at peace when her time comes, and because of that I am at peace.

I don't know when this picture was taken. It is one Carolyn shared with me a while back and all it said with the picture was A Young Helen. It seemed appropriate to share it here tonight.

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