If you were expecting a recipe or the usual nonsense, click away now.
For many years, my mom dealt with the consequences of severe osteoporosis – numerous fractured vertebrae and debilitating pain. Recently, Betty developed emphysema, even though she was a non-smoker. It happens. Never pondered a connection between celiac disease and emphysema before. Cause and effect are difficult to determine, of course. The good news is that she’s no longer suffering.
Shortly after Christmas, nurses from Mercy hospice started making home visits. An amazing group – so kind and supportive.
During the last month, we watched Golden Girls, talked about people, laughed at vines, ate snacks, and drank her favorite gluten free beer. Betty enjoyed corny one-liners like, “You can’t be a meteorologist without passing Wind.” Honestly.
She loved seeing family members who visited. Betty replayed video messages like this one from Ben, who was out of town. One of her funniest remarks, “You were my favorite daughter,” made me howl. Sense of humor, firmly intact.
I’d already read (and had just been reminded by Amy, a hospice nurse) that some people experience a rally shortly before dying. Still, it tends to catch one off guard. About nine hours before passing away, Betty had a brief burst of energy. She wanted to eat bread, and as I sat on the bed eating pizza, she wanted that, too. Like a pro, Brad retrieved bits from her mouth that she couldn’t swallow.
Another brother, his wife, a niece, and a nephew were also there for last call.
“Let’s go!” Betty said.
“Where do you want to go?” Robyn asked.
“I want to go to garage sales.”
Brilliant. Hearing that was an unexpected gift.
Betty passed away peacefully last Monday morning. Around 4am. She always was an early bird.
Among her things, I found googly eyes in a sewing kit and a box filled with handwritten jokes.
What calamities happen every 24 hours? The title of this post.
Good one, Mom.