I should be packing and getting organized but I'm not. It's Sunday and that means piddling. Piddling is important and I have to be sure I get enough worked into my day. This morning I received an email from Benji and Andrea outlining a possible itinerary for our visit. The problem?? I want to do it ALL. Sounds way too fun. They are such hoots.
On a different topic, this is sort of private but then it's really not, so I guess I'll just say it here. Friday I had the most mind blowing conversation with mom ever. It all started due to a chance conversation with a friend Thursday, whose dad had recently died. She had no idea her dad was dying--no one said anything to her and they may not have known, either--but he had pneumonia. She and her husband went to see him, had a great visit, drove home and as they drove in the driveway, her phone rang. Yep...he was gone. She said her dad waited for them to leave, to die. Always the dad, protecting her.
Cut to mom. I realized Friday morning I had never asked her if she wanted me (us) there as she's dying so I high tailed it over there to ask her. I was pretty sure I knew the answer, but didn't want to assume I knew. When I got there, she was all gibber-jabbering but clearly knew who I was, so I told her I'd never asked her this question but wanted to know what she wanted. Answer back: gibber-jabber. But, her body language was unmistakeable!! Full upper body shake from side to side, head pulled back, eyes flashing. It was a HELL YES if I've ever seen one, and I told her "I'm taking that as a HELL YES" and we both screamed out laughing. She jabbered on and she was trying like hell to tell me how much she wanted us there, loved us, etc. but the words just wouldn't come--only the jabber. That was fine. I UNDERSTOOD....and I told her that.
I told her that was exactly what I'd thought and that my plan was, depending on how things go, if it's late and she's still trying to die, I'd just crawl up in her lift chair/recliner with a blanket and spend the night with her, so she wouldn't feel rushed to die. My mother alllllmost fell out of her wheel chair laughing and when I told her we'd have a slumber party, she cried. Out of no where clear as day she said "I want you to help me " and I told her that there was simply no way I'd put a pillow over her face, but that between me and the Hospice nurse, we'd make her trip out as lovely as possible. And that's when she said "It won't be long". I told her I knew that, and that it was just fine. I told her to let go whenever she was ready because I didn't want her hanging around one second longer than she wanted to be here. I also told her that since neither of us knew exactly how this might play out, that if she and God decided for her to slip away in her sleep, that would be fine, too. Again, I'm not going to be choicey.
To say that this conversation was mind blowing to me is an understatement. I've already told all of our family all about it and my sister and her daughter, Dit, went by yesterday just to have some time with mom before Dit and her husband, Jaybird, move to New Orleans soon. They started talking about who in our family way back when were "coonasses", so I fully expect to get a phone call this week from the Plaza telling me mom has called someone over there a coonass.
Bottom line here is, when someone is dying, they often want to talk about it with family. Once you open the door, it's really lovely, so don't be afraid or shy away from it. Some of the biggest gifts come our way when we lean into our fear and just go with it. The memories are worth it. Take it from me.