Guiding Annie (GlutenFreeMama) through hospice care from Day One until the end is the highest honor I have ever been accorded. I did not accomplish this feat without a tremendous amount of help. As HeadSodBuster so eloquently put it, “We done good.” If Annie could have scripted her own passage, not one word or action of what actually happened, would be out of place.
MamaMadeThree did not want to spend one more day in a hospital; she wanted to be at home. She wanted her loved ones around her, and she got her wish. Throughout the Holidays, folks came and went, Christmas chorale music reigned supreme and Annie was able to spend her final days blanketed with love, peace and goodwill to all.
BossLady did so much behind the scenes, it defies all logic. Organizing the daily meds and phoning in prescription orders took a huge weight off of my mind. Overseeing vast logistical operations to keep everything running smoothly and providing much knowledge when it came to making Annie comfortable, are just a couple more of the things BossLady accomplished.
SmallBoy spent many a night upstairs in case I needed help in the night, as did HeadSodBuster and BenJamIn. And every time he came from town, BenJamIn brought vast quantities of supplies. We took turns cooking up huge meals, the leftovers always consumed at some point after the fact.
Annie herself had contacted hospice folks up in Garberville, Heart of the Redwoods Community Hospice, and they were instrumental in helping us along the path. At different times at least seven hospice personnel made the trek up to HappyDayFarms to offer guidance, counseling and support. They were stellar.
Claudia, Annie’s longtime personal health adviser, made numerous visits in the last six weeks, each time imparting to us valuable information. She told us that Annie had no unfinished business and that she was at peace.
Claudia told us that as the time grew nearer, talking and listening would become extremely difficult for Annie, but that it required no effort to reap the benefits of touch. In particular her legs used to need stretching and repositioning. Gently massaging her feet and legs was just one way of communicating, without it requiring any effort from Annie.
We have had seven-and-a-half years to prepare ourselves for this time. That being said, even if you know you are about to be kicked in the solar plexus, and you prepare yourself for that inevitability, it still knocks you for a loop.
I don’t feel loopy-I feel lost. I cannot see beyond the chasm that looms in front of me, nor can I penetrate the mist that prevails. I don’t even want to. I just want to mark time until the ache starts to diminish.
Having family around me, especially a certain small boy who has been coming every day since Annie took to her bed, is the best medicine a guy could ask for. Well, that and something to put in the bong.
Additionally, when I read the comments from the three hundred plus folks on my post about Annie leaving us, I am buoyed beyond words. Never mind that I can’t read the comments without shedding tears; that is unimportant. There can be only so many tears before the well runs dry.
For thirty-nine years I told Annie that I would do anything on earth for her, and then I proved it. This will help ease the pain in my achey heart.