My mom is going on hospice tomorrow morning. She had a really bad night last night. The pain pump is often not doing enough to keep her out of pain, especially in the evenings. We stopped the TPN. Her body has not been able to take in fluids or nutrients on its own for weeks which is its way of starting to shut down. On hospice, the doctor said she would likely only be around for a couple more days since she won’t be receiving fluids. The goal is that she be comfortable and free of pain so it is not clear how lucid she will be. The most important is that she be in peace at home.
My mom skyped with her family in Iowa, the Midwest. She loved talking to them because she loves them. They always make her laugh. She really wishes that she could just go on seeing them. She really wishes she didn’t have cancer. There are so many things she would still like to do and live to see.
At the same time, she was able to talk, and equally importantly, see all of her siblings and her mom today.
She would love to be going back to Italy and seeing all of our relatives there. She was able to talk to Gianni and Roberto today. She would have loved to talk to everyone else in Arezzo. All the same, it was very special. She had her son Josh translating what she said in Italian to Roberto. It has come full circle. Assunta, her Italian nonna, used to speak to her first, beautiful granddaughter in Italian. Now, her son converses in Italian with her grandparents’ relatives in Tuscany. Grandma, Pesho was smiling.
This would not be a proper entry though without talk of food. My mom told me where I could find all of the recipes for the dishes and desserts she made our family over the years. She said if I have questions to call grandma, especially for anything Thanksgiving related.
Aunt Di took care of us today. She went to the store. She cooked a delicious dinner- risotto and pork chops stuffed with spinach and raisins. The Heirloom tomato from Wednesday’s farmer’s market was divine. I’ll have to look out for that color again.
My mom was really happy to see my dad’s sister Ann. Luckily she arrived after the awful shooting at LAX. Josh managed to pick her up amidst all of the evacuation craziness. James took her to Tacos Por Favor for a quick lunch- yup,, the royal treatment. Ann jumped into helping take care of us by cleaning up after dinner and making friends with Diane by eating and clearly enjoying some Halloween rice krispy treats.
How do you accept that your mom goes on hospice? I have often wondered this. All I want is more time with my mom, another day, another hour, another minute. I just want to be able to talk to her and hold her hand. I know everyone in our family must feel the same way. But at the same time, I don’t want her to be in pain. I don’t want her to suffer. I guess someone could have told me this, maybe someone did: You accept because you love your mom.
My mom said that she was ready. As much as she wants to continue to be here with us.
Next to you right now mom is where we want to be.
Jen, James, Josh, Mark, and Suzanne
And because we are from Arezzo one hundred years ago and because this makes us practically related to Roberto Benigni and because my mom loved the entry on my birthday: Beautiful that way
Tears, a tidal-wave of tears
Light that slowly disappears
Wait, before you close the curtain
There's still another game to play
And life is beautiful that way
Here, in his eyes forever more
I will always be as close
as you remember from before.