Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Southside Shuffle and the Reveal

The weather is just being a PITA lately.  It's either raining, snowing, or cold but R has been a trooper and finished the southside shingles on the library/family room while I took care of some the most difficult business a daughter has to deal with during her life time.

But first the reveal.
Of course the priming and painting will have to wait until spring and at this rate, that will be sometime in June.  The window boxes are all staged on saw horses just waiting for primer and paint so they can be hung and planted.  I couldn't stand it any longer and on Saturday my husband and I went to a nursery during a snow storm just to look at pansies and feel the warm air.

Now on to the unhappy news.  My mother passed early on Thursday.  She has either been in the hospital or rehab or hospice since Feb 13th when she went by ambulance after her doctor called me saying her white cell count was extremely high and to get her to the hospital immediately.

While waiting in the emergency room, the 13th changed to the 14th and my sister and I were reminded of the fact that it was many moons ago that my mother was in the hospital giving birth to me on the 14th of February.

We are a very small if not tiny family and by Good Friday it was not looking good.  She was up and in a wheelchair in her large room that was set up like a living room. My daughter in law did her hair, family brought in flowers and a chocolate malt for her to drink, and she was able to see everyone.  Ice cream products were the only food that interested her which was strange because she was a life long meat and potato gal. She had many visitors that day including her doctor.  It was decided then by my sister, our doctor, and myself that she would transition into hospice.  She passed 6 days later.

I will do a post later on explaining many of the ins and outs of what to expect, tips on how to be prepared, and things to look for and to expect from the staff.  We thought we were prepared on the paperwork side but they always want more and a copy for themselves.  On the other hand you can never be prepared for the death of a loved one. I'll give plenty of warning so if you find it difficult to read such things you can ignore the post.

In the end we kept everyone away except for myself, my sister, and my daughter in law at the end when we had a snafu that needed a legal consultation to explain and clarify that the staff was not doing what the doctor's orders were, what hospice had laid out, what our wishes were, and most importantly what my mother's wishes were.

We kept the three grandchildren away because they could not handle seeing their grandmother in that condition.  Even though they are in their 30's and 20's it was hard on them.  Both my sister and I are in agreement that sometimes it is best to remember a loved one in happier times.

Our husbands were another story.  They stayed away because it was too traumatic for them to see their mother in law in that condition.  My husband was an only child, his father died at age 60, and his mother was in a wheelchair and paralized from the waist down since her early 20's. It fell on my husband to completely take care of her.  He was great with his mother (she died in 1996) and also my mother while she was still home.  He would get her out of bed in the morning and even helped her to the bathroom.  My brother in law lost his mother to cancer after a long battle and it was bringing back that most difficult time in his life. Our husbands kept busy taking care of everything else so that we were free to spend 24 hours a day with her. In the end it was the three of us. We slept in her room and most of the time took turns sitting on the side of the bed or on the floor next to her bed.

I'm looking forward to just working on the house and not thinking about anything else. R has shuffled around the corner and is shingling the area in the deck area. He is happy that he is no longer standing on a ladder rung.  Fairly soon we will need to install the vintage exterior french doors that we purchased about 5 years ago, wire for one light on each side of the doors, and order 4 more sets of windows to replace the inappropiate replacement windows.  And then I need to paint all of this new goodness.  It will be great to just paint and think about nothing.