CaringBridge Is Funded by People Like You

Make a donation to CaringBridge

Honor Suzanne with a tax-deductible contribution to CaringBridge today.

Click here to make your donation.

Happy Halloween!

Josh in pumpkin costume my mom made and James as a ninja on the coffee table.  The proper way to prepare for a night of trick-or-treating on Jocelyn Street

Josh in pumpkin costume my mom made and James as a ninja on the coffee table. The proper way to prepare for a night of trick-or-treating on Jocelyn Street

Read more


My mom had a bad night last night. She is very sick and was in a lot of pain this morning. Her problems with nausea are unlikely to subside much although we would love for the antacids to have an effect. She will likely go on hospice sometime soon. When she does go on hospice, things will go very quickly, only a couple days since she will no longer be getting fluids.  It all reminds us how very dearly we love our mom, sister, and wife.

Needless to say, it was an emotionally intense day. It was a very tiring day  especially for my mom and dad who did not get to sleep through the night.  Let's hope for a more peaceful night this time around.

Still, I would say it was a good day.  Maybe it seems like I am always trying to be rosy in my entries.  I am sure there is a bit of that; it’s partly how I cope.  But I sincerely mean that it was a good day.  An exhausting day but a good one.

My Aunt Di and my dad saw my mom through her pain in the morning.  I then read The Casual Vacancy to her.  My dad also has a book from the Harry Bosch series that he and my mom read together. After reading, James sat with mom, holding her hand. She was able to doze off and finally get some needed rest. When she woke up, we talked as a family in the afternoon.

It was a gorgeous day today.  I jogged to the cliffs overlooking the beach. It was one of those clear days where you could see all the varied colors of the coastline out to a Point Dune.  On these days, I always feel like the coast is giving me a big hug.  The shimmering water of midday sun jog must have been my kiss.  

In the afternoon, my mom talked with her brother Dave and Aunt Joyce by Skype.  She loved it.  

Then, James pushed my mom along in her wheel chair for a walk around the block.  Nothing beats feeling the warm sun on your face and taking a gulp of fresh Californian air.  We are still a bit far from the beach, but my mom loved looking at the flowers.  We stopped at the entrance of the Santa Monica Seafood parking lot to pull up her shawls- where the sidewalk overlaps with the driveway.  My dad didn’t want the shawls to drag on the ground, get ruined and worst, trip up the wheel chair.  I was walking ahead, being pesky taking a gazillion photographs.  However, this vantage point did give me a clear view of my mom’s concerned expression. As cars were trying to turn into the lot, she seemed to be thinking, “I know how I am going to go, but this ain’t it!” James backed up the wheel chair; the shawls were pulled up; the car turned in; we moved forward and around the corner.

After her adventure in the great outdoors, my mom relaxed watching an episode of Mad Men.  She then was ready for a rest before her bedtime TPN ritual.  We ate dinner while she rested.  Aunt Di made a delicious chicken in a balsamic sauce with thyme and caramelized red onions.  We also ate some chocolates out of the Trick-or-Treat bags Aunt Di put on our pillows.  You never got too big for this.  We finished the meal with the classic Halloween dessert (according to Aunt Di): peanut butter Rice Krispy treats with chocolate frosting.  They remind me of visits to Iowa but I am open to having them also remind me of Halloween.  You can always count on my grandma for low calorie meals and now her daughter Di. Tasty in the lick your fingers type of way!

After dinner, we read mom the newest Guestbook entries.  We looked through the most recent pictures.  James got out a box of pictures from when we were little kids and showed them to mom.  Guaranteed to get a smile- we were cute!  My dad got the TPN ready.

What is love?  It’s my dad staring at the TPN for 20 minutes straight every night after he has hooked my mom up just to make sure there are no air bubbles.

We did not get any trick-or-treaters today.  We remember how Jocelyn Street used to be THE place to be on Halloween.  So many kids stopped by, and my brothers and I returned the favor, going down one side of the block and then up the other.  As we all got older, the stream of trick-or-treaters slowed.  These things go in waves so maybe tonight, it was as busy again as ever. Jocelyn Street and the friends my mom has from that period mean so very much to her.  It was a great place to grow up.  It was a great place to be a mom and raise your kids.  It's still the biggest part of all our lives.

Happy Halloween!  


Jen, James, Josh, Mark, and Suzanne