July 16, 2013–death in the family

It has been an up and down time. I took her to the Fourth of July concert , which she loved, and had her home for supper.   She was out and about for five hours and did relatively well. Then we had hard rain every afternoon for a week and I didn’t see her.  (I won’t take her out for ANY reason when it’s raining)

The next time I picked her up, she had forgotten how to get in the car. Really.  She had one hand on the inside of the open passenger side door and couldn’t figure out how to turn to find where the seat was. She nearly sat on the ground. After an hour or so at home, she was better oriented and even made it to the powder room and back with minimal assistance.

So I’ve learned that she regresses if I don’t take her out twice a week.

She seems more and more confused, singing loudly (and inappropriately) in the living room at WP, sometimes refusing to take her medicine until I remind her over the phone that “the doctor says you must because of your heart.” That usually takes care of the problem for a few days.

My brother had been in ICU in Texas for more than a week. He had several severe medical problems and was on a ventilator. I debated about telling her, but decided that it wasn’t up to me to keep that kind of information from her.  So I told her during supper Sunday night (July 14.)  Her comment was “the family is falling apart.”

She was in a good mood, though, and readily entered into silly exchanges we’ve enjoyed the last few years.  A typical one for me, absent minded that I am, is “What did I do WITH….” (glasses, keys, my glass, the knife I was just using).  Then to her, “You’re supposed to help me keep up with these things.”

She giggled.  “Well, I would B U T…”  Uh, I guess you had to be there (groan)

Last night while we were finishing supper I got the call.   An inoperable malignant mass had been found that would prevent him from ever breathing on his own again and the decision was made to take him off life support. He died not long afterwards. He was 60.

When I told her, I asked if she remembered who he was.

“Oh yes. Wasn’t he the middle boy?”

Two of her five children were sons. The first died when he was four and I was eight.

On the way back to WP I tried to distract her with yet another reiteration of the plans for her 98th birthday celebration this weekend. She seemed pleased, but scolded me for “going to all that trouble.”

I called over there this morning to see how she was doing. They told me she was confused, distracted, and talking incessantly but not making any sense.

Perhaps that is the way her mind is dealing with the death of her child.


“napping” on the sofa June 30, 2013


Mozart and William waiting expectantly for inadvertent goodies July 15, 2013


About estherfromolmsted

written and maintained by Tina
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