Thursday, February 21, 2008

Wednesday: Finances, Transitions, and a Tear or Two

This household has some month left over at the end of our money. My wife tells me that we're okay, providing to unexpected expenses come up. Translation: Don't buy anything that isn't actually necessary. I'm grateful to be married to a woman who is such a good household manager.

I got a call from Hospice in the town where my parent live. This time, it wasn't a routine touching-base.

My mother's condition has changed. She's having difficulty breathing, she's eating poorly, and her color isn't as good as it was. The nursing home staff is continuing her pain medications, and giving her atropine drops to help with the breathing, but the amount of time she has to live is foe definitely finite now, than it has been for the last many years.

(I checked the use of atropine drops: besides being good for dilating the pupils, that nightshade derivative is used (carefully) as a sort of decongestant.)

This isn't the happiest news I've ever received, but it is hardly unexpected. Although my mother is a five-foot-nothing 'premie' who wasn't expected to live (except by some very determined nuns), she has a strong will and a body which, up until now, has worked fairly well.

After the call, I passed the news to my wife: as soon as I could, without our son and #3 daughter getting full details. That took us past the end of supper. A few minutes after telling my wife, we broke the news to the two at-home kids. #1 daughter will find out tomorrow, when she comes to to some more organizing here, and #2 daughter may already know: My wife called her this evening.

I was doing rather well with a still-upper-lip attitude, until my wife started talking with me about how, when I see my mother next, I should be sure to recall to her what she's done for me, and how I love her.

That did it.

There's a stoic Norseman inside me, but there's a sentimental Irishman, too. I started tearing up about the time my wife said that I should tell my mother I love her.

And, I'm doing the same now. This would be a good time to stop, for now.

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