I took a break for myself a few hours ago, coming back to the hotel room for a nap, a salad, ten minutes on the elliptical, twenty laps in an empty pool, and a jacuzzi. I intend to head back to Vernon’s room soon. Some days I’m more tired than others, so I’m so thankful for this hotel. Every night, its been paid for by a different friend. Every day, my bed gets made and my towels get hung to dry. Every morning I can have eggs for breakfast. And I can stretch out on a queen sized bed of my own every night by myself without a little girl marking her territory with kicks and cuddles. I miss her though. I miss Maki too. But they are both entertained and happy where they are with lots of love and distractions around them. I’m still happy to be staying close to Vernon. Today I just happened to take a longer me-break than I have taken this week. So I must be feeling content about his medication…for now.
Every day has been different. Every day has been a chance to work through the bugs of hospice care. “To train the carers,” as the hospice nurse said when I complained how rough some of the transitions have been. I have no fault with the care home, not enough to complain about. They have been great for us for a long time. BUT hospice care is different—or “Comfort Care” as I believe it will soon more commonly be called. The care home staff runs on a different rhythm and routine than end-of-life care nurses do…so it has been confusing and frustrating when I expect certain things and don’t get them right away, having to explain, ask questions, track someone down, etc… But though Joe and I get to bond in our venting about these issues together, it hasn’t been bad. We are getting there.
I believe as of today (though it changes everyday, so why shouldn’t it continue?) we are on top of his morphine intake for now. It’s been easier with him sleeping, though of course I’m happy to see him come to the surface here and there.
Here is lovely picture of Vernon holding onto my leg yesterday. (Good thing I got my toes done the day before! Not that his closed eyes would notice…but better for a photo!) 🙂
But it’s been good. My sister Cambria has been in town and at my service, helping with Justine-pickup, laundry, coffee, lunches. Here she was this morning, getting to know Joe, my constant companion at Mesa Verde these days.
I especially like this picture I took of them yesterday:
Cambria has always been the kind of person who shows up in the difficult times. It was special to be the recipient of her unusual (but important) gifts.
The Logies also came yesterday. I knew they were aching to be with Vernon, especially being with him every time he’s had a crisis or special event in the past year. Even last week, they were at Hoag every single day. He wasn’t awake for much yesterday, but I know he heard the music. His foot was tapping. His antennae is still going strong. It helps us know he is still present.
Andrea took me out to dinner the other night at the most amazing restaurant that I’ve passed every time I’ve visited Mesa Verde. The kind of place that specializes in Manhattans. It’s sort of sad because I really liked that place, but can’t envision myself returning to the neighborhood in the near future. At least I got to experience it. Thanks, Andrea!
My dear friend Sandy stayed over last night. It meant a lot to have her near as I met her shortly after her husband went to Heaven at 59 years old. We’ve been close ever since. She let Vernon stay at her home when he first visited me that fateful 🙂 Christmas, and a few years prior to that, I was blessed to be her company as her own mother passed away. (The only other time I’ve witnessed a death. It’s a privilege I’ve never forgotten. And its important to share some of this time with her now.) We went to go see a wonderful movie last night: Florence Foster Jenkins. It was absolutely the perfect movie to watch in this time. I cried because of the love in the relationships in this movie. I’ve become a Hugh Grant fan again—I related so much with his character, and he played him wonderfully.
It has been hard for me, honestly, that this is taking so long. He may have a lot of life in him yet. It’s hard for me to not have him as present, but it’s easier to see him resting peacefully. I’d rather see more of that than his fighting to be alive. I know we aren’t extending his life…so I don’t want to extend his death more than necessary. It’s a very akward thing, to be honest. I’ve cried a lot tears these few days. It’s so damn sad. But it’s more sad to see him in pain and fighting than it is for him to look rested. I must say he looks like a young man without the stress on his face. And he has hardly any grey in his hair. And he has hair. He looks great for 49, don’t you think? Almost angelic.
“Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet prince; And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.” —William Shakespeare.