Sunday, September 30, 2007

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Entry for September 30, 2007

Mom passed away quietly yesterday at 10:25pm, in a bedroom of her own home. She was an amazing woman, a great blessing to her family and friends.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

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Entry for September 25, 2007

Saturday morning my older brother decided to accept an offer of assistance from one of Mom’s sisters. I left late Saturday afternoon to pick up Aunt Shirley from Tennessee. We arrived back here late Sunday evening. Saturday and Sunday were the only two days I did not see Mom since she had the first stroke. Until the drive to Tennessee, my job had been very easy, simply sitting with Mom, holding her hand, and talking to her. My brothers took care of the endless list of everything else, as well as finding time to visit with Mom. She would be very proud to see how all of them took care of business.

Aunt Shirley saw Mom in the hospital on Monday morning. It was quite moving to witness the reunion. Aunt Shirley is every bit as tough, loving, and beautiful as Mom. Aunt Shirley and my brothers spent the balance of Monday on the final preparations to bring Mom back to the house where she raised us. This house was the base of her happiness since 1956, and it will be where she spends her final moments on this earth. My brothers worked with near superhuman endurance to get everything ready but without Aunt Shirley being here bringing Mom home would not be possible.

Today, Tuesday September 25, 2007 Mom returned to her own bedroom, in her own home. We hope she finds peace and comfort here. She is weak, but she still shows occasional signs of recognition to voice and a touch. She knows that she is at home. She knows that she is loved.

Friday, September 21, 2007

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Entry for September 21, 2007

The days have all become a blur. I am rarely sure what day it is. My brothers are worn out. I too am worn out. My older brother is holding everything and everyone together.

We have made a very difficult and painful decision. All medical treatment to extend Mom’s life has ended by our request. She is now under Hospice care. The doctors believe this is the correct decision. The nurses believe this is the correct decision. We believe it is the correct decision, and we believe it is what Mom would have wanted. She said so in her written directive, and her sisters say Mom has told them in earlier conversations that this would be best.

I sit with Mom for hours every day, talking to her and holding her hand. She will never answer, but I hope she finds comfort in my voice and my touch. Even though I believe stopping medical treatment to be the correct and proper course, a very small part of me has a doubt. Ninety-five percent of me believes she should be allowed to die naturally, in as much comfort as possible, with as much dignity as possible. Five percent of me wonders if this was the right thing to do. That five percent doubt is ripping my soul out. It would take a miracle to bring Mom back to health. I almost feel I am denying her that chance for a miracle.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

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Entry for September 18, 2007

Late yesterday Mom suffered a second, larger, more devastating stroke. She is unresponsive. Her condition is not survivable.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

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Entry for September 16, 2007

Mom is refusing to eat. It has been about five days since she had any solid food. The hospital is keeping her hydrated via IVs, but Mom says she has no appetite, is nauseous, the food has strange odors and tastes. She seemed more confused today that she has been in a couple of days. When I was there, she was talking to one of my brothers who was not even in the room. She could not remember my name today.

They got her out of bed for an evaluation today. She cannot stand on her own, and has substantial loss of motor function on her left side. She also has a partial vision loss in her left eye. Her speech is still clear, but her thoughts are jumbled again.

The MRI showed no tumor, that there was a great deal of bleeding into her brain.

The doctors are saying that a feeding tube now needs to be inserted to provide nutrition until she starts eating on her own. They are trying to get her out of the ICU into a semi-private room but her condition never improves enough to pull off the transfer.

There is still a long rocky row to hoe for this old farm girl. I believe her condition is survivable, and that it is possible for her to have a great deal of quality time on this earth. I know this woman very well, and what bothers me is that I see something missing. I am not seeing the inner strength, the fight, the fire, the will to live. She is still as courageous as she has always been but so far I have not seen the spark of life that has always been there for her and for her family. Her seventy-five years on this earth have rarely found moments of rest. She is very tired, and physically she is drained. I pray she finds an ember of life left somewhere.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

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Entry for September 15, 2007

So far, there is not much change in Mom’s condition. No worse, which is good since the doctors all say the next couple of days are critical, i.e. she could have a catastrophic blow out. She recognizes each of us, speaks fairly clearly, has no short-term memory as of now, e.g. I can walk out of the room and she will not remember I had been there. Reality is a very confused world for her. She is weak on her left side. Her face looks like she boxed Liston and lost. We are prepared for the worst and praying for the best. She was clawing the IVs out so the nurses had to put a sleeve over them. Occasionally she will attempt to drag herself out of the bed. The neurologist needs an MRI to rule on /out some issues, and the MRI machine is broken. Last word was that they were going to try again about 10pm. It is a long run of tests if they get the contraption to work. Results would not be available until morning even if does work. One of my younger brothers is taking the shift until morning.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

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Entry for September 13, 2007

When I stopped to visit Mom this morning I found she had suffered a bad stroke and a bad fall, I’m not sure which came first. She was lying on the floor, insisting she was fine and that all she needed to do was rest. She was coherent enough to get quite loud with her objections to me calling 911. She has a black eye from hitting her head when she fell. I was in the emergency room all day with her. She is now in ICU and a prognosis is still pending. My brothers are all there now, so I came home for a break. We are going to sit with her in the ICU in shifts (she has five sons).

Mom is an amazing woman. I could write pages about her. I love and admire her very much. The doctor was very frank and honest with me, which I appreciate. She said this type of stroke only has two directions; the patient gets better or dies. If anyone can beat this, it will be this wonderfully tough old woman from Tennessee. One can only hope and pray for the best. It was just last November when we lost Dad.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

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Entry for September 12, 2007

One of the things I did in getting ready for retirement was to put a brick patio in the backyard. That was during the early spring of 2003. On most mornings, I wake up, toss on some cargo-shorts, grab a cup of coffee, and sit on the patio where I catch some sun and listen to the bug-music coming from the garden. Amazing number of noisy critters, but their songs relax me. The flowers attract bees and butterflies; some are of types I haven't seen since I was a kid. I was hoping that retirement would give me more time to surf the patio. So far so good. Occasionally I cook and eat a steak there, sometimes a snooze until midnight. The patio should add value to the house when I put it up for sale. I figure another one to three years or so here, then off to an area with more heat and humidity, and hopefully another patio.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

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Entry for September 08, 2007

The tall baby-killing sheik has once again crawled out from under his rock to tell Americans to convert to Islam. The bearded baby-killer believes that Freedom of Religion should be limited to one choice. Otherwise, he promises there will be more dead babies, collapse of our economy, etc. In short, if America does not change, we are doomed. The baby-killing sheik truly believes he is a Prophet. Let me see if I can speak in his language. HEY ASSHOLE, YOU ARE NO PROPHET!

The baby-killing sheik will now crawl back under his rock with the rest of the maggots, and wait for his zealots to rack up the body count. What worries me is NOT the rhetoric from these murderous pigs. What worries me is that I hear more and more Americans wanting to do totally barbaric things to the Middle East. The more the maggots push us, the more resolute we become to be even more ruthless than they are. Historical Holy Sites in the Middle East are now being bantered about as fair targets. The irrational has become totally rational. The baby-killer and his friends may really want to reconsider where they are taking all of this. Do they really want a missile aimed at every Madrasah? Many Americans are at the point where that sounds quite palatable. The only thing that altered the thinking of the Japanese fanatics during WWII was total and utter destruction. Come on, let’s all go nuts like kids in a playground fight and smash each other’s balls! Good fun!

If you come to America as a friend, you will find no greater friend, and we will die for you. If you come to American as an enemy, you will know no greater enemy, and we will kill you. It is time for you to choose. It is time for us to quit playing nice.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

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Entry for September 06, 2007



Waking on a beach during the early morning light of utter darkness,

finding no comfort,

finding she is gone,

finding the sands of time have run out,

then fading into the sleep without dreams.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

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Entry for September 04, 2007



Waking on a beach during the early morning light of utter radiance,

finding comfort lying in her loving arms,

then fading into her sleep, sharing her dreams

Monday, September 3, 2007

Archive from September 3, 2007

Entry for September 03, 2007



Waking on a beach during the early morning light of utter innocence,

finding comfort lying in the early sands of time,

then fading into the sleep of never ending dreams.