Thursday, April 05, 2007

'Nita Down, but not Out

My mother, Juanita, is unwell and in the hospital. We think this could be the end. A hospice agency is now assisting us. She is ready to go, but her heart keeps right on beating. She sleeps a lot, but when she is awake she's pretty sharp. All of this, of course, has occupied our family fully over the past ten days. All three children have made a visit, and Macon brought Aidan. Mary is still here: she's on her trimester break, which is timely. And my sister is here too. She lives in New Port Richey, FL, and is a school librarian. She is on Spring break. She has been spending all her days at the hospital since Saturday.

My sister and Juanita sing when Mom's awake. Two days ago it was "Go tell Aunt [pronounced "Ain't"] Tabby", a very sad song about a goose being killed by a soldier. She used to sing it to Julia and me when we were babies while she rocked us. She really can't carry a tune, and I'm sure that's why I was an early walker - I had to get away from that rocking chair. Yesterday the tunefest featured "When the Saints go Marching In", which she is telling us she wants us to sing at her funeral. Yesterday also featured her singing "Happy Birthday", after which rendition she said "I'm crazy". We have always known that about Juanita, but it's good that she is coming to terms with it, finally.

You would think that one would be able to maintain a demeanor of solemnity during this period of time. Tears do come on, but then they clear up, and we have a good talk or say something funny. She has already figured out that Jesus, my dad, and my little brother will be there to meet her, and she is very ready to go. After we discussed this, she added our first daughter to the group that she expects to greet her.

Meanwhile, she flirts with Daniel, the terrific male nurse that has been tending to her during the day, all in a dignified sort of way of course. (She is on her side, with her hands drawn up near her face. She waves at him.) I doubt that Daniel sees that sort of thing often from 86 year old women who can hardly move in the hospital bed.

I woke up this morning and, as in the past 6 mornings, the first thing in my head was, "Well, no calls during the night".

I wonder what today's song will be.


Scott said...

Thanks for the update, Paul. I had been wondering your Mom's status since the previous post.

Fittingly, we are in the Easter season where we remember Christ's work on our (including your Mom's) behalf, which makes the wonderous reunions possible.

He is risen indeed! We'll pray for God's mercy and peace for Juantia and the family.

Anonymous said...

Amen, Scott. Thanks.