As Bath Aide Zandra was leaving this morning, I caught out of the corner of my eye that she gave Daughter Lisa a lingering hug.  When she left, Lisa said that she was in tears.  Mary Ann has such a presence that it doesn’t take long for her have impact on people.  Zandra has come to help Mary Ann with her shower, wash her hair and get her dressed in the morning twice a week for maybe four years now.  Zandra was absolutely shocked when she came last Wednesday and saw how much Mary Ann had declined in just a week.

It is probably good that I didn’t see it.  I am beginning to feel as if my intentional denial is only a thin veneer.  I am not ready to allow the dull pain to break open.  I suspect that the illusion that I actually have anything much to say about when and where it breaks is only that, an illusion.  Enough of that!

Then there is Freda’s food.  Lisa was putting some clothes in the dryer.  As she walked out of the laundry room, I was standing in the doorway to the kitchen.  The door to the garage was between us.  As I was standing there, I was eating some of the Chicken Tetrazzini that Tamara had brought the other day.  I said to Lisa, “You know, I think we are running out of food.  I need to get to the store and pick up something.”  Lisa said that she certainly could cook something.

Seconds after Lisa finished that sentence, the door to the garage opened between us, and Lisa’s Husband, Denis, who had been sweeping out the garage, said, someone is here with food.  Neighbor Freda walked in with a bucket of beef and noodles, a package of salad, a loaf of bread and a freshly baked chocolate cake, announcing, “I brought supper.”  It’s all in the timing.

Today there was resolution to some minor annoyances that in our circumstances have seemed like adding insult to injury.

On Friday, I got the summons from the County Courthouse to jury duty.  Today, I picked up the note from the doctor excusing me from serving and got the form and the letter ready to put in the mail tomorrow.

There had been a leak at our gas meter we had reported a couple of weeks ago.  I called today to check on when they would come to repair it.  The truck came this afternoon, dug up a section of our new landscaping, and put in a new meter.

Yesterday, the waterfall stopped running.  Today, Brad came, pulled out the pump, covered with calcium deposits, took it with him, and later returned with a new one.  He had to talk long and hard to convince the vendor to honor the three year warranty.  Since Brad’s Dad has also been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, he has always been very good to us.  Actually, what he told the vendor was that he could not bring himself to charge this customer for a new pump and if he had to he would pay for it himself. Brad said he would come back in two or three weeks to add some stone to cover places where the liner is exposed.  He also will search from some bird friendly chemical to keep the calcium from building up again.

Today my mind has wandered a variety of places.  First of all, my gut keeps reminding me just how much I do not like what is happening to Mary Ann.  I won’t try to describe that feeling.  It is too big for words.

As I was driving out to run some errands a couple of thoughts wandered through.  One is how much of a relief it is not to be dealing with decisions on medications, how much to give and when, what to give and what to remove.  There was always the sense of responsibility for Mary Ann’s survival weighing on me, as if that depended on my making the right decisions.  I know I did not have that much power, but it did make a difference what we did and when.  There were good choices and bad choices to be made.  Those choices are no longer mine to make.  In that regard, it feels as if a heavy weight has been lifted from my shoulders, only to be replaced by a heavy pain in my gut.

Then, just for a moment, as I was driving from the Wild Bird place where I got some more peanuts in the shell for the birds favorite feeder to the Barnes and Noble to look for a reading light so that I could be in the bedroom with Mary Ann reading without having to turn on a light that might disturb here — just for a moment, I had a flash of being out running an errand by myself, without have Mary Ann at home to return to.  It was almost more than I could tolerate.  Have I mentioned how much I don’t like this???

On a more positive note, it continues to be a marvel how many people here and in other places are praying for us.  One of the images used by some of the New Testament writers, is that of myriads of people cheering from the stands.  The imagery comes from the sporting events of the time.  We feel as if there are many people cheering us on as we are in the home stretch, winded and in pain, buoyed by the good will of so many.

Mary Ann has seemed very comfortable today.  We were concerned about the possibility of sores starting, but there were only a couple of red spots.  Bath Aide Zandra confirmed that her skin looked very good.  Nurse Emily came by and confirmed that Mary Ann is still not in need of changing to the special bed and mattress.  She also said that Mary Ann is probably much more comfortable in her own bed than she would be in a hospital bed if one was brought in.  We can get one within a couple of hours if it is needed.

Hospice Chaplain Ed came over for a while.  Again, that is more just a chance for two pastors to chew the fat, as they say, than anything else.

Mary Ann did not eat anything today, but she did drink some water.  She has had her eyes closed almost all day.  One eye opened for a bit when the girls (our 5 and 7 year old Granddaughters) sat on my bed next to Mary Ann and read her some books.  Mary Ann said “okay,” when Nurse Emily told her she would be back tomorrow.  When we changed Mary Ann tonight, there was very little redness in a couple of places.

It felt good to see her comfortable today.  Somehow that helps make dull pain more bearable.

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