I am under hospice care now. My first thought has been “hospice care? At the age of 47? Really? This launch of incredible services which I am only now beginning to understand: A hospital bed has been installed, grab bars, galore.
The furniture has been moved around significantly, thank you friends!)the bathroom, physical and occupational therapy tools as well as welcoming visitors on a careful, stress – free,measured,rotational basis to secure my safety from falling, and to lift spirits.Recently I have been having a recurrent dream that I am standing on the edge of a cliff near the Grand Canyon. Behind me were friends, neighbors,doctors nurses and all of those employed to provide the care necessary to help me perform daily functions like bathing and dressing . There were times that dream becomes very threatening and I feel like all of these wonderful people are simply waiting to throw me over the cliff.,stopwatch in hand.I was initially overwhelmed by what was being offered and didn’t understand it all. This sudden and suspicious invasion of my privacy and the elimination of my time began to become a point of misplaced resentment. But as time
moves on and I begin to understand and harness the generosity and hard work of those involved, I get it. and I am very grateful as well as deeply moved by offers from friends and family to check in on my well-being and on my family as well as my eager stomach!
Many Years ago when my grandmother Ethel was slowly dying from emphysema she, ironically being a nurse years ago who had smoked 9 like so many) in her past , watched her writhe in discomfort trying to pull her thin flowered print nightgown over her weakened body.but most of all, she just wanted to maintain her dignity. Then,Almost until her last breath,which occurred soon after I whispered into her ear grandma, “it’s okay you don’t have to fight anymore,you can let go now.”I had just flown in from Arizona to say my last goodbyes. With the aid standing by I left her apartment and she passed soon thereafter. And another incident this past summer I had a fairly sizable seizure when a friend who had recently cared for her ailing father rushed to the scene and the first thing she did was to help me wash my face with a warm wet washcloth. This act was knowing, loving, and caring and it was the best remedy because it had nothing to do with taking pills in that moment but to restore my dignity and it made a world of difference. ;to try to start up again with a fresh clean face and outlook.all within that one small gesture. Needless to say I have a lot to be grateful for.