August 26-31, 2009
*** Three Generations of the Fourth Child - C, Mom and E. Taken 10-2-1995.
When C's Mom discovered she had pancreatic cancer in mid August, E and I just wanted to figure out a way that we could get up there to spend time with her. Thanks to Delta frequent flier miles (and God's providence) we soon were on our way. What a whirlwind of days it turned out to be.
We arrived after she had undergone the procedure to have a port put in so that she could begin chemotherapy. For the first few days she was sleepy and weak, but we were happy to spend time with her and Dad and help where we could to get things in order in their home. We also zipped up to K20 on Saturday to close up our tent. E could not resist another swim in the lake.
The gift was Friday. She was bright and talkative. We reminisced. She laughed with her two 13 yo granddaughters as they helped her weed out the refrigerator items - little did we know that there are so many types of jelly. We listened as she told of friends that have been dear to her over time. We ironed and vacuumed and sorted and cleaned. More family joined us for lunch. She sat up at her spot at the large dinner table and talked of a day when she'd have a better appetite - but for now was content with her watermelon, her Boost drink and company. In the evening she was energized from a visit from a high school friend of mine and C's. Overall, it was a great day.
Saturday was a bit more subdued.
Sunday and Monday are a blur. She awoke Sunday morning with shortness of breath and by evening was settling into the ICU with a vague diagnosis - pulmonary embolism or lung infection? I left the ICU that evening encouraged by the nurse's report and promising looking blood gases.
Monday morning E and I packed up to head home and I popped into the hospital expecting progress. Instead Dad and I were ushered out in the hall. The medical team surrounded us as one of the MDs explained their reasoning for determining she had a pulmonary embolism. As they spoke all I could think of was, "This is too fast. We're not ready." We were pushed as to a decision for treatment. Since she had just last night in the ER expressed her desire to be put on a ventilator so her children could be with her, that was the way we chose. When I walked back in that room I knew that I was saying, "Good-bye" for the last time.
Tears did not stop flowing over the next hours. I relayed the decisions to S&K (C's brother and wife). E and I headed back to the airport to fly home. C, who had just landed in California, found a return flight and eventually made his way back to Connecticut. Her girls came from RI, VT and CA. Over the next few days everyone said their good-byes.
What a God we serve! He knew Mom's days as in Psalm 139:16 the psalmist proclaims: ... in your book were written, every one of the them, the days that were formed for me,... I praise Him that He was so kind as to give me the desire to go to CT just when we did. E and I will be ever greatful for these special days.