A short update

I took a late plane home last night from Marquette so I could catch my breath, take a really long hot shower and sleep in my own bed with Rich and the cats. Since I had left straight from Florida I was ill-equipped for the Upper Peninsula in all respects. But that begs the question of how many of us are really well equipped to handle this end of life process with the ones we love.

There’s been little change and mostly in the wrong direction. When I left my mother was still in a coma and completely ventilator dependent. The prognosis from the doctors is a few more days of that at the outside. Those few days seem especially valuable to me in only this sense: they are allowing Bud time to make the most gradual shifts in his heart and his mind to a new reality. Watching that has been the most painful thing I have ever witnessed and perhaps someday I will find words to describe the minute changes in his expression, in his eyes, in his posture as he stands holding the handrail of her bed.

I had legitimate reasons to duck home for a couple days. I’ll be making a massive effort to get on top of work and life here after two weeks away because I know that we will regroup shortly and I need to rein in a child from Florida and Dan from here and we need to think about logistics and travel arrangements and everything else. My sisters and brother and I need to parcel out the tasks at hand and available time- because this is going to take some time.Legitimate reasons aside, it’s just so hard to bear. I am a coward. I felt helpless and useless and lost. I found myself praying that she would be in a heavenly field of lupines and plump red thimbleberries with vistas of Lake Superior and bald eagles riding the thermal winds rather than praying that she would work harder in a losing battle against the rales of her ravaged lungs. We "talked" and I held her hand and I told her I would see her again. I left her with the love of my sisters and Bud and I left her to the kind and compassionate touch of the nurses who attend to her every moment.

It feels as though I have good friends in this "blog" neighborhood and even beyond that, good people who are not friends but can still take the time to pass on wishes and comfort. You have no idea what your support and comfort and prayers mean to me and to my family. How held I feel when friends post about my situation and send even more comfort. I shared them with Bud yesterday and he said, "All those people I don’t even know praying for mama." Yesterday’s Budism on the dry-erase board was this:

Dr. Reese: Would Bud like someone to come in and pray with him?
Bud: Why would I want someone to come in and play with me?  (and then he gave his little smile and tugged on his hearing aid.)

Also: "Bud, before I leave make sure you sign those HIPAA papers so they can talk to me when I call." So Bud said to Terrry, the nurse, I need to sign those papers so you can talk to my daughter when she calls. And Terry said to Bud and me: Why Bud, yesterday I handed you those papers and you said, "Are those those damn invasion of privacy things? That idiot is ruining the country!" And you threw them on the floor. Then Bud smiled and said, "Oh. Well. You can talk to my daughter. I’m just not signing that stuff."

Anyway, I’ll come around when I can to say hello but right now I feel as though I need to tuck in and sign off for awhile. Thank you all again, so very much for your thoughts and the knowledge that you’ll be there when I come looking.

48 responses to “A short update

  1. Too much going on. I’m sorry and am sending you my best. Drop me a line if there is anything I can do.
    Lois Lane

  2. Still thinking about all of you. Thanks for the update. I’m so sad for all of you, but especially for Bud.

  3. you are all still high on our list. to give someone a dignified passing is a priceless gift. knowing that the outcome is not in y/our hands, you can wish for only the best for your mom. blessings

  4. I wish I could think of some words to comfort you there, but at a time like this words just don’t seem to work. But I do send my thoughts and prayers. I’ll hold down the blog fort here in Ann Arbor till you’re ready to return.

  5. Thank you for this update, Vicki. Take care of yourself, and your loved ones. I’m keeping your mom in my thoughts.

  6. I’ve been thinking about you ever since I read your post last night. Tuck away, sister. We’re here and you know you are loved. Your family is in my prayers.

    Be well.

  7. You and your family are in my thoughts, Vicki. Thanks for taking the time to let us know what’s going on.

  8. FC sent me this way. I’ll add your Mom and Bud to my prayer list.
    I had a home in the old NE section (well close) before it became fashonable. Bought the house at 231 8th Av. N. back in ’79 for $25,000, can you believe? My ex got it at the divorce. Your place looks great. I can almost picture where it is. That comes from driving a cab in St. Pete for 13 years. My family still lives there, Mom in S. Pasadina and my Daughter and her family up around NE High.
    Enjoy your blog about the old hometown. I’ll be back.

  9. Thanks for taking the time to bring us up to date, Vicki. If you get a chance, give Bud a hug for me.

    (P.S. We got your back.)

  10. Shhh, quiet now and concentrate Vicki, I’m sending you… embracing hugs, warm thoughts and gently whispered prayers. Kristen
    p.s. drop whatever you’re doing and go get a hug from Rich.

  11. Hoss told me to give you a pat on the back, but I think I’ll give you a full body hug. Hang in there sista. We love you.

  12. I don’t know you yet, Vicki, but Hoss sent me your way. Blog friends and support know no boundaries.

    I’m so sorry to hear of all you, your mom, and your family are going through. My thoughts and *hugs* are with you all.

  13. May you find the courage to face tomorrow in the love that surrounds you today. I’m glad you have Rich, your sisters and brother and children there to surround you with love. Know that we are here praying for you, your family, and most especially for Bud and Jan.

  14. I’m here via Hoss.
    So sorry your parents are ill, and that your mother is in a coma. How difficult it must be for you right now.
    I hope you are able to get adequate rest to handle this awful situation.
    I hope for the best for you and for your parents.

  15. Vicki, I’ll be thinking of you and your family today in the days ahead. Know that your mom already knows (and has always known) just how much you love her, and please don’t think you have to ‘prove it’ by being there 24/7 right now. You need your own hefty doses of love right now in order to get through the days ahead, plus need to clear the decks…

  16. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  17. I’ve been thinking about you, and I still am. God bless you, sweet Vicki.

  18. Take care, Vicki. We’re all with you in spirit.

  19. My heart goes out to you Vicky. This is such a hard time, and yet to read your posts, they are so moving. Bud and his “isms” made me smile. My prayers are for all of you at this time.

  20. You and yours remain in my thoughts and prayers!

  21. So hard, Vicki. I hardly know what to say.

    Bud will need you. My prayers will be with all of you.

  22. Vicki, I have prayed for you and your family and for Bud. I am sorry that the update isn’t positive, but I know you can handle the inevitable. I worry about Bud, though. He will need all of you to help him. I will be thinking about you over the next few weeks and pray that you will be strong for each other. Take care of yourself too.

  23. I am here via SRP at Melange. Sending along prayers and energy. Take care.

  24. I’m so sorry that it has come to this point; I dread the day. I understand your need to regroup, and hope to see you back soon. Until then, take care of yourself and much love.

  25. Oh my darlin. Biggest, hugest, boob smooshinest hugs possible from here to there. Sending you many positive thoughts and keeping all possible migraine pains on this side of Lake Michigan and Wisconsin. Much love flowin’ from here to there, Vick. Blessings to all of you and yours. And especially Bud, may he especially feel the warmth and love surrounding him in these trying days and nights.

  26. I am so sorry to hear this. And so sad for Bud. and for all of you. At times like this having a big family must be a comfort. You are in my prayers, Vicki.

  27. Old Hoss sent me this way. I will keep you in my prayers.

  28. I think you’re so right to think of those lupine fields with bald eagles soaring overhead. Find as much peace as you can. Your scene will help you do that and Mom will feel it. Much love to all.

  29. I’m so sorry, Vicki. Hugs and prayers all the way from Germany for you and Bud and the rest.

  30. Vicki~

    I am truly sadden to hear about your Mom, I am here via Melange. I will keep your family in my prayers. Blessings~


  31. I’m so sorry, Vicki. I had not checked in in a few days, and I’m so sad to hear about Jan. Thinking of you and Bud and the rest of your family. Hugs and kisses.

  32. This is such a difficult time for you and your family. My heart goes out to you and yours. ((Hugs))

  33. Wow. I’m sorry I haven’t been around for awhile, but I’m sorry you’re going through this. I’ll keep your whole family in my prayers, and you know if you need to just talk…I’m just around the corner.

  34. still praying, thinking good thoughts, and sending warm blessings your way. fight the good fight, but take care of yourself!

  35. Just stopping by to say you have my prayers and my deep understanding of what you are going through. Many years ago, I was with my mother when she was about to pass on to wherever it is the spirit and soul goes. I know it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to live through, but being there with her was also the most important thing I’ve ever done…and it has stayed with ,for all these…well, almost 40 years…On April 2…it will be just that. And that brings me comfort. I don’t know you my dear, but I feel for you and your very dear family and especially Bud…May your Mom go peacefully to the beautiful place you describe…
    Love & Prayers.(SRP sent me, by the way…)

  36. SRP said you needed help, prayers, hugs, whatever. My heart goes out to you….Do what you can….hugs from a stranger.

    Many Blessings.

  37. Doubt the prayers of an atheist will do any good but you have my heartfelt support…

  38. I’m so sorry you are going through this! I remember when there was a woman who was in her 70’s and her mother just died…a mother who was in her 90’s. She told us so sadly, “there is NEVER a good time to lose your mother.” And so of course, the fear of having just that happen is pretty tremendous. Sometimes I think about my parents getting older and the possibilities that something like this would happen to them creeps in, and I shut down my head, forcing it to go to happier places because I just can’t stand it. I am so sorry you are living through this. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  39. Hoss left a note on his site letting the blogosphere know about your folks. All I can say in hang in there…I’ve been where you are, and knowing people were behind me to back me up really helped.

    When you feel like laughing again, come and visit my blog home…if anything you can laugh at my lack of web design skills.

    But you’re in my prayers…

  40. Vicki, Vicki. I’m praying for you. So sorry you’re having to go through this right now. Stay strong and know all your friends are thinking of you. 🙂

  41. The bluebird of happiness sent me to see you. I am the Coopers Hawk of strength and forbearance, here to gurgle at you lovingly and drop pigeon carcasses full of righteous wrath upon the Mercedes Benz of misfortune.


    p.s. Hallmark rejected my application

  42. Tears were forming in my eyes as I read your post. I don’t know how I would be feeling or managing if it were my Mama. I’m holding all of your family close. Be strong!

  43. OMG…prayers and well wishes are coming your way!!!!!!!!!!

  44. our prayers for all of you are still knocking on heaven’s door. blessings

  45. I hope today finds you less afraid. Wish there were something I could say or do. You have so much on your plate right now. Bud is amazing. Should have his own television show, Everybody Loves Bud. He is that one family member whom we all cherish. My heart goes out to you and your family during this difficult time. I am praying for your strength.
    Lois Lane

  46. Vicky, I come by way of Mary’s Verandah. You are not a coward! Your extraordinary awareness of so many very tiny details puts the lie to that. That degree of observation is born of love, of wanting to be all you are needed to be, for everyone you love. Because I’ve travelled your road, I wish we could sit down for a talk. But we can’t, so just take the **hug**.

  47. I too have traveled your path, losing my Mom some 12 years ago. She struggled for many years with Alzheimers but no matter how hopeless it seemed, it turns out I always had hope for a miracle. My Dad was a rock and has done amazingly well on his own, but I know it was harder for him than for me. I hope you find peace.

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