Sunday, July 5, 2009

Family Gathering

After being at the hospital, most of us went over to Mom and Dad's house, and as we sat around talking, we got going on Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, our favorite family movie.
Craig and Angie "practically" have every line memorized, and with what the rest of us threw in, we basically reenacted every scene and laughed ourselves silly. I commented that I had never cried so hard and laughed so hard all in one day.

Bruce naturally got a hold of Macy.
Who IS this guy??We took advantage of all of us being together to take some pictures. Clark, if this is not the funniest picture...
then, this one is -
or this one.
This is all the bretheren together (sorry Macy - you got included with the bretheren).
and the sisters, minus Angie. I think she was with Mom at the time. This is why she's the favorite daughter. :)This is most of the family that was there.
I have to put in this close-up of Caleb and Carson, Angie's two youngest boys. They are darling!

That evening when Mom got back from the hospital, we came back to reality, and had a family council on what would now happen to Dad. The doctors said that he would not be able to chew or swallow, which would entail a feeding tube; that he had lost the sight in his right eye, and could only see shadows in his left; that he would not be able to move much. This was sobering, and we wondered at what kind of quality of life he would have. After much discussion, in which everyone was able to express their feelings and be understood, I believe, we knelt down in prayer and Mother pleaded with Lord, just as if she was talking to him face to face, to know His will and to be able to do the right thing. I won't soon forget that prayer. I was deeply grateful to be reminded of what a close relationship my Mother has with our Heavenly Father, and as He has always been her constant friend and guide, He would continue to be during this trying time for her.

These pictures were taken at the end of that Family Council.
Need I say more about why my life is so happy and what a blessing I've been given.
This picture represents what I'm now trying to give to my children. I want them to have the kind of family that I have. Although we didn't have ten children, we work hard to create the environment in which our six children can be close their whole lives, which is what I have with my siblings. Truly, I would rather be with my brothers and sisters and parents than anyone else in the world, besides my own husband and children. And I'm pretty sure they all feel that way too. (If you don't - I don't wanna know about it!! Ha ha)

During the night that night, I heard Macy crying in the next room. After awhile, I got up to see if I could be of some assistance. I found Cedric there sitting by Conal and Macy. Conal said she had just thrown up and was just wide awake. After a moment, I picked her up, wrapped her up in a blanket and walked around the room. She stopped crying, but she was still wide awake. Conal fell back asleep, and pretty soon Cedric spelled me off. I went upstairs to my purse and got some Peppermint essential oil, and had Cedric put it on his hand and rub it around so Macy would be able to smell it in hopes of calming her stomach down. We walked her around for probably forty-five minutes, although in the middle of the night, it's hard to tell the passage of time. She finally fell asleep and we laid her down in the crib. That was a fun thing for Cedric and I. I know I feel a deeper connection to that cute little Macy now!

About the time we got her to sleep, 4:00 am alarm went off and we packed up to go back home. This time Bruce drove most of the way, with me driving about an hour. Thank you Bruce!

On Thursday evening, I got a remarkable phone call from Mom. She said that Dad had been chewing and swallowing, and saying some words!

This is an email I sent out to my family on Thursday evening:

Mom held the phone up to Dad's ear and said, "It's Lorena, Dad. Say hi." There was a pause, and Dad said, "Hi." I started talking away. After I paused, he said, "OK." This is what he normally says to me, after I've been talking to him - right in line with how he usually responds. At some point Mom said, "He's smiling Lorena." I talked some more, and then he cleared his throat (just like he usually does) and started to say, "I ..." but then he couldn't finish. Mom said that he was holding the phone up to his ear with his own hand. I said a few more things, and then I said, "Dad, I love you." There was a pause, and then Dad said slowly, "I love you." The "love" sounded more like "lub", but it was clearly an "I love you". He said "OK" more than once also. At the end, Mom said to me, "Tell him to say bye, bye" so I did, and he said, "Bye bye." These are the words that Dad has said, that I know of: hi, bye-bye, yes, no, OK, I love you, and April (the name of the nurse). Lyle and Alice Farnes also reported that they fed him soup, mashed potatoes and gravy, and meat, and that he ate it up. Clark hit the nail on the head when he said that Dad is "on the edge of the bell curve" with the things he is doing right now that the Doctors said he could not do. It's quite a miracle. When I hung up with Mom this evening I think she was in a bit of a state of shock - not physically - but emotionally. She said, "I guess I'll keep him in the hospital a few more days," as opposed to starting the hospice care that they had planned on earlier in the day. This is quite an emotional roller coaster for all of us, but especially Mom. But I'm happy we're on the upswing. Maybe now we can actually ask Dad what he would like us to do. Way to go Dad!!

As of today, almost a month later, Dad had one small relapse where he slept for 24-30 hours and the CAT scan showed some additional bleeding on the brain, and a seizure. But other than those two things, he has shown a slow but consistent improvement! He can now put on his own shirt and button it down, say words, and feed himself almost a whole meal. He can almost stand up on his own power, and can take shuffling steps with a walker.

For the last two weeks he has been in a nursing home where he has been receiving good care and rehabilitation. Mom is taking one day at a time, and has been handling things in a remarkable way.

A VERY special thanks goes to Angie, who is a constant help to my Mom, Cedric who stayed and did all sorts of yard work and house work for Mom, Curtis, and especially Jeana, who stayed for two additional weeks and helped Mom get the finances under control, as well as being there for her at night.

We still have my Dad with us! What a blessing and a miracle!


WhettenWild said...

Lor and Bruce, THANK YOU so much for helping Conal take care of Macy! I appreciate it so much!!

annette said...

Thank you so much for sharing.Last time I saw your Dad,it was at Cynthia Annes, I unexpectedly broke into tears. I didn't know why but I think I was just so greatful to have him still here and be with him that day. I am still feeling those tender feelings for him. Love you all.

Lorena said...

From my brother Craig: Thanks for posting this Lor. I think it is important to have a record of important things. It helps me to remember. I think Nephi would understand as he had to go and get the Brass Plates for a reason. Thanks for making a brass plate type record of our family moments. :)

Lorena said...

From my brother Conal: "Oh man, that is just fantastic! I loved it. Curtis was actually the last to arrive at 11AM, about an hour and a half after I got there."

Yes, duh, I remember that now! I also wanted to add that Curtis read some beautiful poems that I had never heard before.