Mom continues to fade like a vase filled with pale pink roses that you got from a favorite suitor two weeks ago. They really don't look that great, but you're not ready to toss them out yet. Her voice grows fainter and she sleeps more. When she is awake she will occasionally "yell" at me to "go home"! Today we added soft music via a CD player and my husband's mini-speakers. That kind of worked, but it was in competition with Drew Carey and "The Price Is Right" which blared from Ana's television. It didn't matter to Mom, so I didn't care much either. Then the chaplain from hospice came by. When we finished discussing the differences between the Catholic and Protestant churches we finally got around to including Mom in a prayer and she did her best to chime in where she could. I've met him several times before, but I got his name wrong again. In fact, I'm doing that fairly consistently lately. It might have something to do with getting up at four o'clock in the morning with my mind whirling like the Tasmanian Devil from the old Warner Brothers cartoons. There is no comfortable spot for my soul to "perch" these days.
Flanagan would know what to say to anchor me, but he joined the Advance Team and is there already. His daughter assures me he will be there to welcome Mom with open arms when she arrives, and I believe that. I hope he doesn't spill any of my best secrets. It's nice to think I still have one or two.
I sit, hold her hand and think. Sometimes I sing softly. It feels sacramental to be present at the end of a life, especially the life of one's mother. Mostly I find myself searching the thesaurus of my brain for new words for "exhausted".