More shifting.  Dad has slipped under any more brief intervals of consciousness.  No more agitation, no more groans of pain.  He sleeps and breathes, his heart continuing its strong beat.

My mom and sister and I have set up a nest in Dad’s room at the nursing home.  We spent the night there last night, and are camped out there today (except that I needed to come home to get some real sleep for a while or put myself in danger of an episode or bronchitis relapse).  The staff gave us another recliner and pads to put on the floor, plenty of pillows and blankets.  We’ve taken over the empty bed and rearranged the furniture to our liking.  My sister’s husband came this morning with her overnight bag and supplies.  The meals are cheap and nutritious, the staff more than willing to bring us juice or a sandwich at 2:00 in the morning.  We have magazines and puzzles, and when I go back in a little bit, I’ll take a deck of cards.

It’s a family slumber party, missing only my brother in Bemidji and nephew in Oklahoma.  But we talk to them and send pictures with my sis’s cell phone.  We talk, and tell stories, and watch Dad breathe.  We swab his dry mouth and talk to him without expecting an answer now.  We cat-nap, then take breaks to walk outside in the beautiful autumn sunshine while the staff tends to Dad’s personal care.

It’s the final vigil, in jammies and slippers.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Kathryn McCullough
    Oct 15, 2011 @ 15:22:23

    Blessings to you and your family, Sandy. Hang in there, my friend. It’s great to go home for real rest–also for your mental health, but it’s great your getting to spend the night there at the nursing home with your sister and dad.


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