I wrote a post the other day that I didn't publish. I'm very conflicted about what to say. Some of it doesn't come off right in print. You don't get a feel for the laughter and the peacefulness and the joy. All it sounds like is crazy and I don't want people to think that's what this time is like for any of us.
But, there is one story I know I want to tell. Day before yesterday, Linda was talking to one of the nurses about Rob and me and this is what she said about Rob...yes, but he keeps bringing me the same breakfast tacos every day and I asked him for Round Rock donuts weeks ago. (If you've never had a Round Rock donut, you don't know what you're missing)
And, the nurse told Rob and Rob remembered that a few days ago, she did indeed ask for RR donuts for breakfast. So, my husband, man that he is, took three dozen donuts to the nursing home yesterday and everybody in her wing enjoyed donuts, staff and residents. They even saved one for me. She was still asleep when Rob got there, and didn't fully enjoy the one he gave her. But, when I got there, she asked for some poligrip and she attacked one with a bowl of mandarin oranges.
Outside Linda's room, a lady stopped him and asked if he was Linda's son. He said no, she was a very dear friend. And, the lady said "you're here every day." and rolled on her way down the hall.
Mary asked the other day if Linda had stabilized. I didn't post that because I wanted to think about how to answer it.
When Linda first got to the nursing home, we all thought she'd be gone in a couple days or weeks at best. But, it turned out that the main thing that was killing Linda at that time was starvation, not cancer. I don't know how long Linda went without food before she got to the hospital. She didn't ask for help and nobody knew she couldn't feed herself. And, when she got to the hospital, she refused to eat the hospital food. She was finally so weak and drugged up that she ate what I offered her and she kept eating and after a few days, she was able to feed herself and she's been eating like a horse...well, more like a bird, but for Linda, like a horse, ever since. So, she got physically stronger and we all enjoyed two weeks of relatively good health and great and frequent visits.
And, it seemed that might go on for a while.
But, on Monday, Linda took a turn for the worse. Systems are shutting down and current events are getting...okay, strange. Flying on a chartered plane from London to LA, and not knowing how we're going to pay for it (I told her she should tell them to just arrest her and see what they thought about that). Landing in a friend's front yard and picking her up. Being murdered on Monday and if I didn't stop them, she was going to be murdered again on Tuesday.
She's still there. She still knows who we are. She knows what is going on right this minute. And, she remembers the past with complete clarity. But, what happened a half hour ago or last night is more of a dream. But, she'll point at me and say point blank that this what she's about to say is not a hallucination, then tell me about RuPaul coming to visit.
Turned out, after several hours of indulging that, shift changed and she introduced me to nurse's aid Roger as RuPaul. When I apologized, he said it was okay and not the worst thing he'd been called in that nursing home.
This is what dying is like. This is what it's been like all three times I've been this close to it. The difference this time is that Linda isn't fighting. She's calm and peaceful and happy and smiling. And, as long as we control the conversation, we still get good visits. She had a good life and we're helping her relive the best moments and memories of it. And, as long as she's not in any pain, I'll talk about anything she wants to talk about and flip through her photo albums with her and talk about the people and places pictured there.
But, don't ask her what city we're in unless you want to hear about the current adventure and go off on a flight of fantasy.
Everybody have a great weekend. This is our weekend to get ready for the new appliances that are being delivered next week. Woo-hoo! It's very important that we take care of ourselves now, too.