…and not a great one. It started out beautifully, for the first ten minutes I was there. The rest of the day, however, not so much.

When I came in, Mom sat up in the chair, clearly responding to my entrance. She smiled and held out her hand to me. I went over and kissed her, and she kissed me back. It was the kind of moment you want to remember forever – so very sweet.

Unfortunately, things went downhill from there. Fussing, yelling, crying. Absolute torture to watch and I’m sure even more torturous for her to experience. It was sometime this afternoon when I realized we could not continue this. It just isn’t fair to prolong her suffering if there is something that can be done to calm her. I called HomeReach Hospice and they are coming to admit her tomorrow. Such a difficult decision, but I just don’t think we have a choice. Simply put, not doing anything would be cruel at this point. Now the goal will be to keep her comfortable and at Eason House where she is truly at home.

Today was the first time I’ve heard her call out for her mother, but there was no mistaking it. She called “my mother” four different times throughout the course of the day. Oh how I wish I knew who and what she is seeing, hearing, and thinking. Her struggle is obvious, and this was one of those days where I couldn’t do a damn thing to soothe her. Not.a.single.thing. Without a doubt, the most helpless feeling in the world.

This does provide reassurance that bringing hospice in now is the right thing to do, but somehow that doesn’t make it any easier. Despite the fact that I’ve been saying goodbye to her for eight years, I am not even close to accepting the reality of her actually being gone. It sounds crazy, but I really didn’t realize how difficult this would be. It’s not as though we haven’t known it was coming… but the idea of not being able to go sit with her, hold her hand, and hear her say, “I love you” is quite truthfully something I just can’t think about without crying.

The airing of Colleen Marshall‘s annual documentary “Journey Through Alzheimer’s” was tonight, and this year it was particularly poignant – I’m not sure if it was the stories that she told or just the emotionally raw state I’m in. Each segment will be up on the web tomorrow, and I’ll post the links. It really is something everyone should see…

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