Monday, April 19, 2010

At the Bedside

The phone rang in the middle of the night. I knew my mother had been admitted to the hospital in the US because she had simply refused to eat. She was frail before I came to Ukraine. What was this call?

"The doctors say that she has pneumonia."
"Then it's time for me to pack," I told Dave as we hung up. "With cancer and not eating, she won't make it past pneumonia."

So began the journey back to be at my mother's bedside. I was packed and flying (a special blessing to get a decent ticket so soon) within twelve hours. I had an overnight layover in Paris but I was too tired to be interested in the city, so stayed in the airport.

Flowers brought to Mother in the hospital.

I arrived in Bloomington at the hospital on Wednesday morning and was gone one night during the time of Mother's final hospitalization.

As a nurse, I tried to pitch in and help the nurses on the floor with their care of Mother. Most of the time she didn't seem aware that I was there. Other family members came in most days. Other visitors came. In the first days, she tried to chat to a couple.

Daddy and his sixth great-grandson Wyatt, whose smiles broke up the sadness. (Thanks Rachel and John for bringing him.)

I was excited to become friends with some of the nurses. I hoped and prayed that I would reflect Jesus.

Both my brothers decided to stay through the night on April 2nd. Since they were at the bedside, I had gone to lay down awhile when one of them came to call me. "Mother has stopped breathing."

The next few days were full of funeral and traveling arrangements. Each of us felt quite inadequate for the situation.

But I guess each of us did what we could for a dearly loved person. Daddy's hand holding Mother's in hospital.