This is the best part of the trip (strange as it may seem)...


It turns out Mom and I are both full of surprises in the last few weeks of her life. She is oddly peaceful, openly grateful, even wryly humorous at times. It seems she's finding something soothing and comforting about being cared for like a baby, and about having me be the one doing it. I never thought it would come to this, for many reasons. My mother has been hoarding that stash of pills for so long against the day when she would be incompetent, incontinent, unable to take care of herself or maintain her basic independence or dignity. I fully expected she would ask about those pills, implore me to bring them and help her take them when it got to this. But no, not at all. Last night I offered her a sleeping pill when she was waking every hour with thirst and pain, and she agreed to take one. One. Didn't even think about the full bottle in my hand. For my part, I never imagined I'd be changing her diapers, getting up over and over all night to tend to her many issues, feeding her with a spoon or straw as she lays there in bed. I always said if it came to this, she'd have to go to a nursing home. But no. I want her here when I can watch over her, make sure she's comfortable, offer little touches like a back rub or a swipe of Chapstick, try to tempt her with ice cream, jello, soup, pudding, fruit. I told her last night: "This is what I moved to Florida for, all those years ago. This time when we can be this close and really love each other." After all the conflict and resentment and the butting of heads, it all comes down to that. Who would have thunk?

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Carla, what a beautiful tribute, and very much the way I felt for my FIL, when he returned to our home from the hospital, on Hospice.

My FIL was a pill, he lived with us for 13 years, a Complete Narcissist, and that final Spring, we had had enough and had finally got up the nerve to get him to leave our home, and go into an Assisted living facility. Unfortunately this only lasted about 12 weeks, before he developed Pneumonia, fell in his AL apartment, lay on the floor for approx 12 or so hours, causing untold other medical problems, like dehydration, and Rhabdomilysis, leading to severe kidney troubles. Once in hospital, they found (on Xray and CT) that he had a large lung mass, with metastases to his rib bones, and who knows where else, determined to be Cancer.

My FIL had no intention on going through treatment, he was too frail and weak, and had been through Chemotherapy 12 tears before for Lymphoma, so It was determined that he should go onto Hospice for comfort care, and we decided that our home was the best choice for him and our family.

It was during that final 9 weeks of his life, that I came to see him in a different light, and our relationship improved. He was helpless, defenseless and bedbound, but he finally began showing the appreciation and kindness that I had been looking for all those 13 years. Despite the difficulties of caring for him 24/7, and caring for him with Hospice's help, he and I got along better than we ever had, and I'm so glad for the opportunity to be able to care for him in his final journey.

I hope your journey turns out to be as kind and gentle and rewarding as mine turned out to be, as there is a certain amount of solace and peace that come with caring for a Loved One to the end of their life. Take Care!

Carla, thanks for sharing this emotional and heartfelt development. I think that end of life can bring so many changes, including ones in which gratitude not previously acknowledged is now recognized, and cherished.

It seems as if your mother is in this stage. I hope that in the future this is the stage you remember in terms of your relationship to each other, and that these are the lasting memories you will have of her.

Peace to both of you.

Carla, no words. Just hugs, admiration and respect for both of you. ❤️❤️❤️

Good Morning Carla,
I'm not about to offer a feeble speculation as to Mom's new serenity. I just wanted to chime in to tell you, how happy I am for you to have this heartwarming time with your Mom!

Enjoy every special moment, as it already seems you are! 💕🌹👩‍👧

Wow, Carla, that's beautiful. Not what you all are going through, of course, but the way that the situation has helped you both to finally get to bond and grow close, and for you to hear her words of gratitude must mean a lot.

Hugs, you are doing a great job, and my thoughts and prayers are with you and your mom on this journey.