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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Human life is a jumble. Happy things. Sad things. Exciting things. Boring things. Pleasant emotions, and unpleasant ones.

Yesterday while joyously anticipating my son's return, I heard from his cousin, his dad's niece. Her mom is not doing well. This is the sister in law I've written about before, the one I run for, who has been robbed of so much of her life by ALS. She has contracted pneumonia. And they made the decision to stop feeding her by tube. She still gets water (kidneys are still working), and meds, of course.

But it is only a matter of time. I went over to spend a few moments, just standing there holding her hand, talking of little, encouraging her to rest. I did share that my son's out of harms way and on the way home. Her gaze would wander to the photograph of her own son, who passed away almost two years ago now.

Having read some of the near death literature, I wondered whether she could now see and commune with him... she seems quite at peace. She can still hear us, but now even her breathing is mechanically assisted. She can squeeze hands a little bit.

And what struck me yesterday is that despite all the disease has done to her body... she is still a beautiful woman. Love brings out beauty, you see. This photo is from a younger time, of course, but I can still see this woman.

At one a.m. or thereabouts I got the boots Stateside phone call. In about a week, I'll get my mom hugs. I'm praying also for hers, from a daughter before, from a son at her destination.

Life can be sad even while it is happy... but it is precious in all its moments. Take care of yourself today... so you will be there for your loved ones to share these moments.

Life is good. Spark on. emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Reading this blog after reading your one today really brings home the fact that emotions can go both ways at the same time and we have to accept it. Thanks for sharing this wonderful blog from 4 years ago!
    479 days ago
    reading this in retrospect. Makes me think that how all we do to stay fit and healthy sometimes doesn't matter! We still contract horrible diseases thru no fault of our own. But.... We can handle them better I think. Yes, somehow we can be both happy and sad within the same plane!
    479 days ago
    My MIL is in a nursing home nearing death. Everytime she has an "episode" we wonder if this is it but she always seems to rally. We have been talking with her about death and heaven and we hope she is at peace with it and is able to see what awaits her. Peace.
    1945 days ago
  • KANOE10
    emoticon I am glad she seems at peace and has her family around her.
    1947 days ago
    1947 days ago
    What an extremely moving blog. It's so true that while one of us is experiencing the greatest joy, another the greatest trauma. That intense desire to will outcomes into existence . . . yeah. I recognize it, and it seldom works for me either.
    1948 days ago
    emoticon beautiful sad and inspiring thought with you and your family
    1949 days ago
    many thoughts and prayers.
    1949 days ago
    OMG BARB-such a beautiful girl!!! Life is short!!------I shall pray for her also!----Theresa (on TV)- has convinced me that relatives are around us--Hopefully it is true!----Nice to read about your feelings--Lynda emoticon
    1949 days ago
    Having had a nephew pass from ALS at age 22, I know what a hideous disease it can be and am praying for your beautiful SIL and family. emoticon
    1949 days ago
    You've done what you can. She heard you, knows she is loved and will be loved.
    That's all there can be.

    1949 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Just so very sad, but maybe relief she didn't have to suffer right to the end stage of that horrible disease -seeing her son on the other side, yes, a very peaceful way to go and be welcomed into the light..
    So glad your son has made it home safely and that you can finally have peace.
    Such a turmoil of emotions here. Only you could write about it in such an eloquent way.
    Sending thoughts of peace and tranquility,
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1949 days ago
  • SHARON10002
    Barb, I'm sorry to heat about your SIL and ALS. It it an insidious disease. One of my therapeutic water exercise students had it. I watched him over a period of four years decline. But do you know, he was the most positive, and was there for every class unless he had a doctor's appointment. He was truly a gift to all of us. . .

    So very glad to read that your son is closer to home!! I'm sharing your joy and anticipation, too. Homecomings, no matter who they are for, known or stranger, are emotional. Makes me choke up cause all those memories and feeling come flooding to the surface again . . . I'm sure you can't wait for those mom hugs, and he is going to be so surprised and proud when he lays eyes on you! Think of all you'll have to share from this past year!
    1949 days ago
    Sorry BArb to hear what the family is going through right now emoticon
    1949 days ago
    I'm so sorry for what she and your family is going through. that's so tough. Glad she seems to be at peace.
    1949 days ago
    'Tis the ebb and flow of life. Prayers for your SIL and family for comfort and peace...her photo is beautiful. Prayers for you as you await the mom hugs and the sweet reunion. emoticon
    1949 days ago
  • ANDI571
    emoticon emoticon
    1949 days ago
    Prayers for you, your sister in law and the entire family.

    Hugs and joy for the boots on USA soil. I remember that call from my son.

    emoticon emoticon
    1949 days ago
  • DALID414
    Wow, so many different emotions.
    1949 days ago
    Tissue alert...smiles, hugs and love to you through the tears.
    1950 days ago
    Well said, Barb. Thoughts and prayers (both joyful and sad) are with you today.
    1950 days ago
    Very touching.
    1950 days ago
    1950 days ago
    1950 days ago
    Can't wait for you to get your mom hugs!! He's safe and on his way home. Life is good.

    So good of you to be there for your sister-in-law. Those visits can't be easy; they have to take a lot out of you. So tough. So emotional. Your perspective about life has to be sharpened by this experience. You write beautifully about it. Thanks you for sharing your wisdom.

    Take care of yourself. I know you have to be so very, very excited about your son. Hang on. He's on his way! I'm even dreaming of your mom hugs!! -Marsha

    1950 days ago
    So glad he's 'home' and you were able to share precious moments with your SIL and assist her on her journey.
    Namaste my friend.
    1950 days ago
    Barb, hugs and prayers for you and your beloved SIL. God bless. tears, both sad and also happy to enjoy MY life, for who truly knows what the future holds for any of us.
    1950 days ago
    So sad for you sister in law and family. I have cared for 2 diff patients with AlS and it is a rotten disease, but aren't they all in some way.

    SO very very happy that your son has gotten this much closer to home!!! Glad it will be soon now. HUGS
    1950 days ago
    Tears flowing, Barb. ALS is such a mean disease. But from all you've written about your SIL, she has handled it all with grace and dignity and faith. I am glad you got time to spend with her and encouraged her to rest. Indeed, despite everything, the last thing to go is the hearing, so definitely, she can hear you. I am so sorry.

    I am soooooooooo celebrating for you that your DS is stateside!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh Barb, that is absolutely wonderful. I truly sjare you joy and hope your Mom hugs can be given sooner rather than later! And I KNOW you aren't going to let go of him for a LLLLLOOOONNNNNG time!

    HUGS my dear Barb. Prayers
    1950 days ago
    I am glad she is not in pain, sad for your family to have to go through it. My mom volunteered for hospice for 5 years. She would sit with patients until they passed away in a hospice home. Several did not have family or waited until the family went to get coffee, bathroom, etc . to pass away. She was always amazed how they could hold on until their family left. She said it was such a spiritual, peaceful experience.
    1950 days ago
  • GABY1948
    I am SO sorry. But what a wonderful and heartfelt blog! Blessings to you all, Barb! emoticon
    1950 days ago
    I keep thinking of your sister in law. I will pray for her. ALS is a hideous disease. I hope she is well medicated so she can rest and not feel anxious.

    You have given me a lot to think about today, Barb. FWIW, your blog has been my morning meditation.
    1950 days ago
    1950 days ago
    Mixed emotions for sure. I will pray for you and the family. HUGS!
    1950 days ago
    You write beautifully about crucial life issues and events. It is a comfort.
    1950 days ago
    I agree that love brings out beauty. Christians are taught that God is Love. Therefore, we, as creations of God's love can only be more beautiful as we are loved and as we love others. Your SIL is returning to the source of all love. She will become radiant even as her earthly body fails. It is a profound mystery.

    Frankly, this is a bit much for spark, but I think you get the gist of what I am trying to say.

    Meanwhile your son is returning home! Happy days!
    1950 days ago
    Very emotional day.
    Hope you have a good week of anticipation.
    1950 days ago
    A beautiful blog. It reminds me of a similar time at my mom's bedside exactly 2 years ago. Although Mom was in a comatose state at the end, my daughter heard her talking to her deceased sisters and calling them by name. So yes, I believe she can communicate with her son.
    1950 days ago
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