Kate and I got a little punchy early this evening. We'd been in Mom's room all day long, no breaks to go outside because the whole building and environs were being power washed. They did an extensive and thorough job with noisy compressor in tow. I left briefly just after 6:00 p.m. to get us take out food for supper. Found an Indian restaurant near Northgate and brought back nan and garbanzo beans with potatoes and a mixed vegetable dish. Hungry, but not really hungry. Neither of us ate much.
Dad is holding up. But our eyes fill with tears often when we look at one another. He says he is very glad we are here. Before he headed off to bed, he sat next to Mom. He'd not done that all day. Looked from afar, from across the room. More tears for Kate and me as he held her hand, told her he loved her and that she was a beautiful woman and a good woman. I do think she tried to respond.
After Dad went to bed, we got into piecing the puzzle again and all of a sudden, everything was funny and we begin to laugh. We'd cried intermittently all day, so perhaps it was a good thing to laugh.
"Is this a vigil?" Kate asked.
"Yes, this is a vigil," I said.
The puzzle is close to being finished. We can do it my midday tomorrow and I think Kate may laminate it as a memento. We called John at 8:00 p.m. and told him the day had been long and we figured that Mom, who has more than perfect hearing, may have heard every word spoken in that room all day long. Actually, we've included her in many of our conversations.
Then we wondered if we should spend the night with Mom or come back to Kate's house. Mom's pulse is slower, but still strong. Her hands are bluer, indicating poor circulation, but her breathing was smooth. We debated and then Kate decided we should leave for the night.
However, Kate says sometimes folks will fool you. You wait and wait with someone and then they die as soon as you leave. Her mother-in-law did just that years ago. Kate sat with Virginia at Christa's nursing center for several hours one evening after a full day at the hospital, because she knew it was the end. Virginia's breathing was slow and deep and her pulse weak. But it didn't happen and Kate finally left. When she arrived home twenty minutes later, Denny had already gotten a call that Virginia had just died. Probably right after Kate walked out the door.
We have no idea about Mom except that she is tough and has a strong heart.
"Mom, give us a sign," I said as we sorted endless puzzle pieces.
Kate leaned over Mom's bed. "Tell us what to do, Mom. Should we stay or go?"
We're home now and Kate's just gone to bed. I will follow in a minute or two. This has been a long, long day.