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6/12/11

     In the middle of the night last night, Carol pulled off the ring and handed it to me. In a really gruff voice she said “Here, take this now!” I asked her if she was sure and she said “Yes, just take it.” I did. I was worried this morning that she would forget that she gave it to me because she is beginning to lose her ability to remember things or gets confused. When I asked her if she really wanted me to take the ring, she said yes. The night was really rough; nighttime seems to be the hardest part of the day for her and therefore for me. She wakes up several times during the night and seems to be uncomfortable or has difficulty breathing. She asks for meds more often during the night than during the day. It seems to me she would sleep more because of the extra meds, but she seems to save the sleep for the daytime.

     We are all taking this very hard, especially because we don’t understand why she didn’t seek treatment.  I have had to let that go as much as I possibly can. I cannot change what her choice was. I have also had to let it go that she didn’t tell us up front. She probably didn’t want to hear everyone asking “why” all the time.

     I wish Mom would come and see her. She won’t. She says she is too old to make a trip that is so long and would take her away from her normal routine, even if Uncle Jerry comes with her. He offered to bring her so she wouldn’t have to fly but she still says no. She also says that she wants to remember Carol the way she was, not like this. I’ve quit trying to change her mind. I feel she and Carol don’t have a very good relationship and it really bothers me. I know things happened years ago. I’ve heard bits and pieces from both of them but I don’t really know the whole story. My understanding is that it had something to do with when Carol and Andy got married. I think it is time for both of them to let those things go but I can’t make that happen either. Mom has called three different times and each time she tells me that she doesn’t want to be a bother, she’d rather I just call her when I can. She does seem to always want to know how things are going and to tell Carol hello and that she is thinking about her. She says she doesn’t want to talk to her because she knows it is hard on Carol. Personally, I think it is a copout but, I really shouldn’t judge, she is after all dealing with the death of a child.

     I’m not sure Kelly realized what it would really be like to bring Carol here. He has shouldered a lot of responsibility. He completely packed her up and moved her across country with her barely able to breathe. He and Krista have arranged all the Hospice care and have made sure there is a hospital bed, etc. They have also had to carry a financial burden. Carol helps out but I’m sure there are things that have increased simply from having another person, well, now two other people, living in their home. It is bound to be difficult for them. Kelly has never had to deal with anything like this in his life. He and Krista have turned their lives upside down to have her here. Their garage looks like a storage unit, filled from floor to almost ceiling with all of her stuff. He has had to dig through it on more than one occasion to find things for her. What a mess!

     One day, shortly after all her friends were gone from the birthday weekend, she wanted to go through all her scrapbooking and stamping materials and think about making “good-bye” cards. Kelly had dug around in the garage and found several boxes with the things that she needed and brought them upstairs. Krista and I helped her go across the hall to her and Kelly’s room and helped her get settled on the loveseat. She sat and looked through all of her treasures and told us about the different projects she had started. I had to chuckle because like her, I have many projects started and not finished. Wonder if it is a hereditary thing? She talked about what things she wanted to use for the cards. We spent about two hours looking through it all and then she decided that she was ready to go back to bed. We were instructed to leave the stuff where we could easily get to it when she was ready to make the cards. We rolled her back to her room and helped her settle back into bed. She was struggling to breathe so we gave her meds. She finally relaxed and slept for a while.

     Some things I’ve learned these past couple of weeks: I cannot control or change the course of events; I cannot control or change what people think; it is what it is, I just have to learn to cope with it all; I am thankful for my faith; I hate seeing my sister in this condition; Waiting for a death is similar to waiting for a birth but without the joyous anticipation.

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