Friday, December 14, 2012
It is easy to underestimate what an effect a loved one's face, voice, or presence can have. Fresh off of finals, Matt was able to be with Mom all day Thursday. He got her out of bed and she sat in the living room with him and talked. Mom's cousin recorded a YouTube video to her recalling stories of their childhood that had her laughing through every minute of it. And yesterday a very close and dear friend visited her. The effect was enormous. By yesterday evening she was out of bed giving a tour of the house. She sat in the living room and visited as long as she could. Mom's bedroom is comfortable enough for a few people to congregate and visit but still allow her to relax. Not long after she was exhausted and needed to nap. We thought we would have to wake her, especially since she had spent so many hours awake, yet about an hour later she woke up on her own and asked for food. We nearly had to force her to try to eat the past five days. It was a relief to hear her asking for food. Even though she only ate a few bites it was an encouraging sign. It didn't stop there. Elois told me that Mom was up until 10:30 pm or so. Normally, Elois wakes her at 8:00 am to take medicine. Today, however, Elois noticed her light on at 7:15. Surprisingly, Mom was awake and in the bathroom brushing her teeth. She was alert and although her delivery was slowed her wit was as sharp as ever. She was a regular Dorothy Parker. And she continued to talk about food. She recalled home cooked meals from the past although promised to eat everything we offered "in about an hour from now." She slept more today to make up for all the energy she expended the day before. But the energy she gained from her visit remained. Around noon I heard what I thought had to be Elois in the kitchen, but when I looked up it was Mom looking for something to eat. Now she was actively seeking food out. Elois was drawn by Mom's activity. She prepared what Mom asked for: a small bowl of chili beans and a cup of pineapple chunks. She ate at the dining room table rather than in bed. The last time she did that was weeks before chemo started. She slept for a few hours in the afternoon. She woke up in the early evening and wanted a southwest chicken salad from McDonald's. Even though she no longer wanted it when I returned we were all excited by her recharging appetite.
Tomorrow, my godmother and lifelong friend of my mom is coming to town to help care for her. She and my Aunt Cheryl will give Elois a much needed break. My mom wants everyone to know that she is reading your comments and drawing strength from your prayers and messages. She is seeing a lot of you in her dreams but I will save that story for tomorrow's blog entry.