June 7, 2009

It’s not an easy topic to think about, and it’s only on rare occasions that I will even allow myself to “fast forward” this process and try to see beyond a few steps down the road. The past few days have revealed some changes, however, that make me feel that the road ahead may be evening out with fewer obstacles that would otherwise impede the view.

Since late yesterday afternoon, mom has become much less coherent. Hand signals and facial expressions are gradually replacing her words as her primary method of communication with us.

Her ability to shuffle her feet or take even the smallest steps is nearly gone. Last night my dad and I carried her back to the bed from her chair.

 Last night she refused most of our attempts to feed her or provide water or juice (although today Isaac was able to help her eat some mashed bananas and she has been more receptive to some water mixed with a little cranberry juice).

The biggest change though seems to be, however, that as my mom’s physical needs diminish, our ability to provide the kind of care that allowed us to feel “useful” is also decreasing. Isaac, my dad and I pretty much spent most of today just being here with her, adjusting her pillow and holding her hand while she slept.

Aside from these changes, there are a few constants as well. Most importantly, my mom’s pain seems to continue to be manageable; she can still communicate in a way that lets us know when she is uncomfortable. And thankfully, she still can manage a smile when her granddaughters arrive for a visit.

I will go back to Dallas tomorrow afternoon but plan to return by the weekend.

Love to all,

Howard Joseph


2 Responses to “Sunday”

  1. Lydia Avina Drayer Says:

    Chole’s transition, while obviously sad for all of us, has been so lovely to behold. I wish I could describe for those that have not witnessed it the incredible way Lee, Isaac, Alicia and you have choreographed Chole’s care in these final days, but words fail me.

  2. Mague (margarita) Says:

    Chole always bragged about you, Isaac and your dad but I would never have understood as clearly as I do now just how wonderful you all really are. She has been very blessed to have you all in her life. It has been humbling to say the least to watch you, your brother and your dad care for my sister in such a loving and consistent manner. You will always have a very special place in my heart for I have watched you maintain your positive spirit during some pretty challenging times and events. I wish my sister peace. I know that in the end she will be just fine, free of pain and discomfort, and in a better place.

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