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Dad never gave up on her

Don't know why this is on my mind today. But I'm writing it here for the record.

My dad never gave up on my mom. He was the one who was chiefly responsible for taking care of her as she got sicker and sicker, and he was utterly devoted to it. Mom's healthcare people said they'd never seen anything like it. They must have been doing something right, as Mom got five and a half years with a cancer that basically has a zero percent six-year survival rate, and I think that had a lot to do with it. He saw what was happening to her more clearly than anyone, especially as she declined, but I admired the fact that he never gave her up for lost.

I kind of did, I'm ashamed to say. Not, fortunately, in any way that really affected how I treated her. But I remember things that suddenly seemed pointless because we knew she would be gone soon. Like, when her last birthday came around in March. I thought, should I even bother getting her a birthday gift? It's not like she cares about stuff at this point. She basically can't enjoy it. Is it worth it to bother?

But my dad never did that. I remember when she was diagnosed with her brain tumors and it was fairly certain that she had months, if not weeks, to live. He ordered the same cord of firewood he always ordered for the winter, because Mom always liked to have a fire in wintertime. Even though she probably wasn't going to live long enough to enjoy it, even though it was pretty much solely for her benefit, and he would have to be entirely responsible for the considerable amount of labor and trouble it involved. Because she liked it, and he never gave her up for lost.

She stopped eating in the last several weeks before she died. It didn't really matter at that point whether she ate or not, it was clear she was on her way out. But he never stopped trying to get her to eat. The hospice nurses said to give her cookies or ice cream. He said, "But she's not getting any nutrition." They asked him if he understood that she was dying. Of course he did. He just never stopped trying to take care of her.

Same thing with her pain meds. We're a somewhat pill-averse family, and they avoided her strong pain medications as much as they could. Again, the nurses questioned whether they understood how dire the circumstances were. But the pills made her sleepy and spacey, and they wanted to be able to still talk to each other. She only had a few days before the end when she could no longer communicate, and dad said one of the hardest parts was "when she stopped talking to me."

He never treated her like a dying person. They had all the same conversations, arguments, and jokes they always had. And he made sure she stayed as strong as she could under the circumstances. I love that he loved her like that.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jul. 9th, 2014 04:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this. It's the sort of post that makes me want to show it to loved ones and say, "See? This is the way that I want someone to care for me if I ever end up that sick." Because it is.

*pebble* *hugs and listening ears if desired*
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:

MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3

at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM


Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

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