I finally upgraded to an iPhone 5. I also talked to my brother, Scott, about trying a thing called “Facetime” together with Mom on our iPhones. It is like video conferencing… Didn’t really think this through properly. I really should have done this last week when Mom was a little bit better.
A little “Facetime” experiment with Mom and my bro… Not my most successful idea to date. :-/
Ya see, Mom has been in a little pain for the last week. The nurses have been giving her small doses of morphine to hopefully ease her pain.
This morning the nurse said Mom had been declining quite a bit. I came back in the evening to do the “Facetime” thing with my brother. I just kind of jumped in and started the video conference feature without really thinking about it. I thought Mom might perk up when she saw Scott, but she was kind of zoned out. Mom seemed to have declined a little more since I saw her this morning. When I realized it, we were already looking at Scott on the iPhone and he was looking at us… He tried to interact with Mom and asked her to smile… I did see her nod slightly in acknowledgement of a couple questions, but she was so blank. Like I said, I didn’t really think this one through very well.
I could feel my brother’s concern after a few sentences and suggested I call him in a few minutes and we ended the call.
I excused myself and went into the hallway where there are a couple chairs and sat for a while with my emotions. I spoke with the nurse about Mom’s current state. Tried to get a feel for where we are heading. She said that Mom is still eating a little bit and that was good. The nurse also said that if Mom stops eating she would probably have about a week to go.
So, I sat some more in the hallway and gathered my thoughts.
I texted my brother with the new info from the nurse. He texted back, “Ok… For the record… I was not prepared for that!” (He was referring to the Facetime experiment.)
I texted him back, “Actually, You and me both… Have been in the hallway crying for a while. Now back with Mom trying to hold it together.”
He responded, “Hold it together lil bro… I’m here.”
Have I mentioned lately how frickin’ awesome my brother is?!?
After Mom was taken to dinner, my brother and I talked for a while. He said that it was heart-wrenching to see Mom like that. I apologized and said that Facetime was probably not the best idea I’ve come up with… He laughed and said “Yeah, we didn’t really think that one through completely, did we?”
My brother is a saint… So, understanding. I feel fully supported and loved by him. We’ve had conversations about logistics for when… at such time… Mom passes. It is so great to be able to talk openly about our feelings, how we want things to be handled logistically, and what we are committed to do regarding Mom and all of it.
I gotta tell ya, having siblings commit to the higher good of their parents and each other is sooooooo important when dealing with the care of aging parents… I have been blessed with my brother who supports me and worries about me during this adventure. I’ve enjoyed the journey, although at times I feel I could have made better choices or could be doing it better. I guess that comes with that whole “being human” thing. :-)
If and when you are faced with caring for a parent, support your siblings and focus on loving the process. (i.e. Don’t fight over nickels and dimes or misunderstandings and misinformation… Talk to each other for Pete’s sake! :-)
Mom was pretty weak today. So, I just held her hand gently and sat with her for a while.
Also, I would highly recommend that all y’all take a course called the Landmark Education Forum… (www.landmarkeducation.com) It is their first course of many amazing courses about what it is to be human, about communication and about creating lives that work. (And in my opinion, work joyously… Even when times may not be so “joyous” by society’s standards.) Although there is still some sadness that shows up from time to time, my mind is so at peace with the process. I’m at peace with the way my Mom is departing this world. I was also amazingly complete with my Dad when he passed in 2008. I have received so much from the courses at Landmark Education. At the top of my list of acknowledgements to them is the peace and joy that has been able to come to the surface in my life, especially in the midst of these crazy conversations we all have about aging, dying and death.
We really don’t deal well with death as human beings… And it is such a huge and wonderful part of life… And, we’re all heading there. So, thank you Landmark Education for the gift of seeing past the drama and the “It’s not supposed to be this way.” conversations and my expanded capacity to be free and present for my Mom (and Dad) in a way that honors them and has me finding joy as this journey continues.
Have a great week y’all. I’ll do my best to keep you informed on Mom’s current status and how our journey progresses.
© 2013 Rick Allred www.rickallredimagery.com