Monday, April 27, 2009

Another waiting game...

Several months ago, my dad called to tell me that Hospice had been called in to take care of my step-mom (wife number 2) who is in a nursing home after a severe brain hemmorhage 7 years ago. Her body is slowly shutting down and at this point, it is a blessing. You see, Collette was only 47 years old when this happened and is now 80% paralyzed, eats with a feeding tube, can hardly speak and her short-term memory is gone. There was never any hope for rehabilitation.

Two weeks ago while on the phone with dad, I inquired about Collette's health. "She had a bed sore," he said. "A bad one." Now, I'm no doctor but even I know that bed sores can be fatal. Kind of weird that your brain can have something burst in it and ultimately shift and you can live, but something as simple as a bed sore can kill you. It's all very weird to me. We talked about it a little and moved on. I talked to a good friend who is a nurse in a nursing home and she said to prepare ourselves because with the shape Collette is in, this was not going to end well.

Today my sister gets a call from my dad telling her about the bed sore. So, of course, she calls me. I told her that I was aware of the whole thing but she wasn't really phased by it. Not much phases her. Sometimes I envy her ability to just not get emotional but at times like this it's hard to imagine not getting even a little bit sad. She told me that this is a good thing and we should be happy that Collette was finally going to die. Just like very matter-of-factly. I did not like that. I know it's a good thing. I know that this would be the best for Collette. I struggle with extreme guilt that I have not been there except for ONE TIME in the last seven years and that trip just about killed me. I feel very selfish for not making more of an attempt to be there.

This woman was kind. She was always nice to me even when I did things to hurt her feelings. And I did, many times hurt her feelings. She never hesitated to take care of my son when he was a baby and was there from the moment he was born and even helped us get him on the right formula when he was practically starving to death. I wish there was something I could give back to her. I wish there was something that I could do to ease her pain. Dad says that she is on a lot of morphine and basically just sleeps. I wish that I could talk to her one more time and tell her thank you. I wish that Nick could hold her hand and tell her that he loves her.

We have no idea how long she has and after going through all that we did with Grandma, I know that it will not be an easy wait. What I wouldn't give to just have one more day...

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