Mother seemed to be in a deep sleep when we arrived just before noon yesterday, but I kept gently touching her face and arm. She kind of mumbled, so I knew she was hearing me.
Before long she said she needed to go to the bathroom. I put the call bell close to her hand and asked her to push the button. (We try not to do everything for her.) Soon the light lit up, so I knew she was successful – and complimented her. When a nurse came, we left the room so she could put Mother on the bedpan.
When the nurse left, she told me I could go back in the room. Cerwin chose to stay in a waiting area near her room to give her privicy. After a while Mother pushed the call button to notify the nurse that she was finished.
When the nurse came to the room, I asked if I could help – or did she want me to leave. The nurse said, “I would really appreciate help.” She asked me to put on some plastic gloves – and I became a nurse’s assistant by removing the bed pan, getting a new bed pad, handing her cream (to help prevent bed sores) and pillows to lift her feet and elbows from the bed.
Soon I helped move Mother closer to the head of the bed (she gravitates toward the bottom) in preparation for lifting the head of her bed for lunchtime.
I leaned in toward Mother and told her, “I am your new nurse today.” I loved the smile in her eyes and on her face as she said, “I love this new nurse” and puckered her lips to give me a kiss. Oh I treasure that moment.
The nurse said, “Ella, it is so good to see you smiling. I think we need to hire this nurse.” I promised Mother that I would only work for her. 🙂
Then it was time for lunch. She didn’t eat very much, but Cerwin and I took turns feeding her. Her food is pureed, so we always ask the kitchen attendant what she is eating – then as we feed her, we tell her what we are putting in her mouth.
Because she was still alert, I asked if she wanted to talk to Velda. She did.
We (her family) have had several visits this week where Mother was sleeping or very groggy. (However, when Velda called last night, she told us that she and Mel also had a great visit at suppertime. After Velda read some Bible verses to her, Mother sang a song, then another one. )
We treasure these moments as we watch her slowly slip away from the earth. At this point we don’t know if we have only days or maybe months to enjoy her presence.
Then we called her 100-year-old brother John – who has been asking about her. I listened so I could assist with the conversation when necessary.
It was a good day, and I wanted to keep it in my memory and share it with you.
We covet your prayers for her – and us.