I sat in her living room and we talked. She had just woken up from a nap. The medication for pain makes her sleepy at times. I asked her if she still had pain and she said she did not. I looked around the living room and took stock of the furniture...a floral covered couch, some older chairs and end tables and coffee tables from the 70's. It reminded me of my mother and what our living room looked like.
I gazed at this woman who I have fallen in love with. She is old and dying but at the same time, she is everything I want to be when I get old. She fiercely loves her children and loved her husband before he passed away. She is smart and worldly and kind...so kind. She is a quick wit and she is very compassionate and most of all, understanding. That is just the beginning of this woman that I have the honor of caring for as she leaves this world.
We talked about life and kids and getting ready. She gently rubbed her cheek and talked about how hard it was on her to watch her children watch her decline... and how she wanted to spare them of that. We talked of how hard life is and how blessed she has been to have the time she has had. But, we agreed, to stay and worry about pain and fatigue and to feel like you are not living this life...is no life at all.
We cried...because it is time to leave but it doesn't make leaving any easier. Then we talked about how it does. How in many ways she is ready to go...but in other ways she is not.
I left the house thinking about how lucky I am to be with her at this time and how I can make sure she is taken care of beautifully....as if she was my mother...
Then I got in my car, took a deep breath and went to the next house.
That is the job of a Hospice nurse....
I am so lucky to be able to be with this amazing woman at this time in her life.
We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,