I stayed over at my parents' house this whole week rather than go to work and I'm SO glad I did. Thankfully my job is a "grown-up" job where they realize that we're humans first, workers second. My boss Anna is the best! Anyway, Dad's health has rapidly deteriorated since I last wrote. He always has two eggs and raisin toast with peanut butter for breakfast, which he's been having this whole week. But other than that he hasn't eaten much. This morning however, he only ate a little of the breakfast and nothing else.
On Wednesday, his sister Shelley came over to visit. She had brought him KFC for lunch but of course, he couldn't eat it. I asked Shelley if she was OK now, since she had been so upset and she responded, "No." A little bit later I said, "I really think you should talk to the hospice nurse..." She cut me off, "David, I have my own beliefs about this and I'm not going to talk to her!" Me: "She'll help you feel better." Shelley: "We're not talking about it anymore!" And then, in true Pierce fashion, we acted as though nothing had happened even though I wanted to invite her to leave.
Shelley's daughter Holly and her family came over as well and all stayed most of the afternoon. We had chicken nuggets and tater tots for lunch. I went with Holly's husband Marshall to the store. He said that the night before Shelley had asked him what he thought of this situation with Dad and he said that he felt that she and her sisters were not treating my mom right by being mad at her, and that he wouldn't want Holly to keep him around if he were in the same situation. She wasn't too impressed by that. Since my last entry I've had time to think about why Dad's sisters think the way they do and the only thing I can come up with is that all they ever do is sit around, drink Pepsi, and do nothing. So the fact that Dad has just been sitting around doing nothing is no big deal to them. Of course, they all have no idea of his real health issues as they are never around (though Louise does call every day and I hate to group her with her sisters as she seems to be the only sane one...and yet she's one that's the most mad). Anyway, while they were here the Fittons dropped by. John and Susan Fitton used to live down the street from my parents and their daughter Jessica was my best friend growing up. We always used to visit with them so it was nice to see them but there were just too many people around so they said they would come later, which they did today (Saturday). A little after everyone had left my best friend Gina Falcone showed up with these beautiful bright flowers and some sweet rolls. She stayed for awhile just talking to my mom and dad and me. She's such a great lady! So caring and awesome! She was the best part of the day as everyone else being there kind of irritated me (not really Holly's family but just the fact that there were a ton of people).
Thursday, Dad couldn't really walk anymore and in fact he started to fall to the floor when Mom was taking him to the bathroom. She was able to grab and set him down gently and she had to call me and ask if me and Paul could come help her (this was in the morning). Since then he's just been in the wheelchair.
Friday, January 23, was their 39th wedding anniversary. Us kids had decided, with Dad's approval, that we would have a crab feast since he loves crab and hadn't had it in awhile. However, Paul decided to just buy a shrimp platter at Costco and he bought croissants. I bought turkey and swiss cheese and pickles and got to their house around 2. Around the same time Jayce Hymas showed up. He also used to live down the street. As a matter of fact, he lived right next to the Fittons. He was the Bishop in the Ward (that's what the church congregation is called in the Mormon church). He visited for awhile and it was nice. We bagged the idea of the crab feast and just had sandwiches and everyone else ate the shrimp for late lunch. Dad even had five or six. My friend Jessica Austin at work celebrated her birthday yesterday but was having a birthday dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen at the Fashion Place Mall. She had invited me earlier in the day but I declined. However, all my brothers and sister left Dad's house in the evening and I decided I really needed to get out. I was so glad I did. Gina was there along with Crystal Perea and Bernadette Gonzales. We four sat a table. At another table was more people we worked with including this beautiful girl Amy, Nicole Huish (that is my friend Mackenzie's cousin), another girl that I wasn't sure of her name and her cute daughter and Jessica. While waiting to be seated Amy told me that her mother died in surgery last February and so she knew what I was going through. She said it will be rough and it doesn't hurt any less, but you learn to live with it. We all had fun at dinner.
Apparently while Mom was getting Dad ready for bed he slipped out of his wheelchair onto the floor and so she called next door neighbor Brian Buckner to come help her lift him....as you can see, this whole situation is very sad.
Today, Saturday, when I got to Mom's, Dad was sitting on the couch falling in and out of sleep. He also said he was miserable. He clarified that he wasn't in pain, just miserable and uncomfortable. Mom has been giving him things like Loritab and other stuff that hospice suggested. The Fittons came over and visited for about an hour and a half. While they were there Mackenzie called me. Her father passed away about three years ago. Poor Mack has a cold and her voice was barely there but she wanted to make sure I was OK and offer any help she could.
It's weird being in a situation like this because the normal human response when someone is in distress is to ask how you can help. But when you're the one that needs the help, it's weird: I honestly don't know how anyone can help me except to listen to me. And I don't like to share my sad feelings with everyone because everyone needs to be happy not to mention they've already got stuff to deal with. However, I do like that my friends have been so good to me in listening and offering to help. Some time this week Michelle called too. Anyway, during the Fittons visit Dad was barely there falling in and out of sleep. After they left we took him into the bedroom so Mom could finish giving him a bath. He remained in the bedroom the rest of the evening, just very worn out and tired. His sister Louise called to talk to him but he could barely talk. I told her that he wasn't doing well at all and she said she knew that and she would be home from Colorado on Tuesday and would come to see him. I don't think he's going to make it Tuesday but I didn't want to tell her that because she's already upset and mad.
My mom's youngest sister Carol came over bringing home made chili and rolls. Her daughter Whitney and Whitney's girlfriend Mickelle came too. Heather and Tyler were over as well as Pibby and Jenny showed up. Paul is very depressed about this whole situation and deals with it by drinking so he was not there. After dinner they all left. Sandy Draper came in to say "hi" to Dad.
He was feeling rather restless and seemed labored in his breathing. Mom called the hospice and this beautiful nurse came over and suggested we give him .25 mg of morphine. She also said that it would only be a matter of days until he passes. While the nurse was visiting with Mom I sat by Dad's bed and told him I was sorry he was going through all this. He just rasped out, "Ok." Mom went to the store and I finished reading Glimpse Beyond Death's Door by Brent and Wendy Top. It was such a good comforting book. They related people's near-death-experiences. What all of them came back with is that God loves us more than we comprehend and we are to love everyone and learn as much as we can while we are here on Earth. And all of them said death was not scary in the least and that they looked forward to when they finally would die. Dad is very scared of dying simply because he doesn't know what's on the other side, even though he's been very religious his whole life. He also had told us last week that he's part of our family and wants to stay with us. I told him he'd always be part of the family but that because his body is so ravaged with illness he can't stay. We also told him we'd always be thinking about him.
Before I left Mom's I went in and told him I was leaving. I held his hand (which is something I never do because he's not very touchy-feely) and told him I loved him (also something I never do because he always responds, "Oh, OK.") However, tonight he rasped out as best he could, "I love you too."
If he does pass tonight I will always be grateful that those were our last words to each other. I really do love him so much! He's been so good to us and cared about us so much. It's really hard to watch him go through this. REALLY HARD. But I know his life in the afterworld is going to be so great! He'll be with his parents, his grandparents, and many others that he's always wanted to talk to.
So now I'm going to try to sleep, even though I've not been able to the past couple nights for fear the phone would ring.
11 months ago