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Friday, May 20, 2005

Hanging In There

We're doing okay. Hanging in there, I suppose is the best way to describe it. Over the week that we've stood vigil with Charlie's mom, she's improved in some ways, and declined in others. Though the "danger" seems to be over and her vital signs have stabled, she doesn't seem to have that fighting will anymore. The blood clot in her leg has resolved and the staph infection in her lungs has diminished, but she's weak and doesn't seem to want to go on.

Yesterday, we transferred her out of the hospital (a good thing), and into a hospice/rehabilitation facility. The most effort she's mustered is to tell us that she wants to go home, understandably. Unfortunately, she is bedridden and the care that is required, none of us is experienced enough, nor strong enough to provide. Despite everyone's best efforts to help her recover, the doctor tells us that the cancer in her spine will take her so all that we can do is to keep her comfortable. We take turns, Charlie, myself, his sister, Averie and Caris, sitting with her so that she is never alone. Even though she is incoherent much of the time, we want someone she loves to be with her should she wake up at any time. She doesn't differentiate between night and day and cannot feed herself, so we think it's important that one of us is there. This makes things difficult and scheduling "life as usual" is a mighty task. Charlie usually takes the nightshifts, then comes home, sleeps a couple of hours, then goes to work. His sister takes over at 6 am until noon when Averie gets out of school and can go until I get there after work at 2. Then Charlie takes over again when he gets out of work. It's daunting and sometimes a bit depressing. I find myself emotional a lot of the time. Tears come that I can't control. Usually, I just sit in my car and "water" my steering wheel.

All this while we try to keep up with school and extra curricular activities for the kids. I find myself jealous of the smallest freedoms that others are able to enjoy. The only time I have for myself is the few moments I take in the morning to write, but wish for a little more time so that I can "check in" on my blog family. A visit or two to a blog or two is a cherished stolen moment, and then I feel guilty because I know that I "should" be doing this or that to keep functioning with this life I'm dealt for the moment. I want to sit and make calls, chat with someone, call my sister whom I've neglected for lack of time or energy. I want to reach out and let people know I'm still here, wish them love. I want to get back to tending bar and serving warm cookies. I'm so afraid that I'm getting lost.

On the other side of this is Mum who struggles and I shouldn't be thinking of ME at all. On the other side of this is Charlie who is selfless and courageous and kind, and yet I sit in my car and cry for myself. On the other side of this is so much more than just me. On the other side of this....I promise, a "warm cookie" post.


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