Monday, June 6, 2011

Vera On Her Trip to Heaven

My Mother-In-Law is over 90 years old, a World War II veteran, and is battling through the death sequence of her life.  Last week, we thought she had about 24-36 hours to live.  That was on Thursday.  Today is Monday, and she is still here.

Hospice gave us a booklet and we all read it last Thursday...says that hallucinations (check), thrashing around with the arms (check), talking non-stop to people who aren't in the room and possibly deceased (check), eyes 3/4 closed and not focusing (check), no intake of food, little intake of fluids, and long long periods of sleep (check) are harbingers of imminent death. So I called my Husband and son to come back from Atlanta on Thursday, and they came skidding in around 9:30 PM.  And she is still, unbelievably, painfully, communicating with us.

Her arms and legs are bones wrapped in thin skin, so fragile that she can't be touched there without a little scream from her chest.  Her lips are so chapped from the lack of fluids that the skin is peeling off, no matter how much oil and salve we lovingly swipe on them.  Tonight, her mail delivery lady (US Postal Service Employee) arrived at the doorstep with her guitar and amplifier and begged to sing to her.  So we fed the postal worker a glass of wine, gathered the family, and moved to Vera's bedroom.  And the postal worker tuned her guitar and began singing.  Like an angel she sang.  Like an angel.  All in the room were sobbing at the end at the pure sweetness - all the way down to the 10 year old great-grandson.  We weren't sad, we were just so overwhelmed by the tsunami of love, and the reception of love by Grandma Mac.  She was obviously listening, and settled down like a feather within seconds after the sweet music began.

I keep thinking, what have I missed here??  Why is God keeping her here with us so long, when she needs to just go fly in the stars?  Only thing I can think of is that it is just Vera.  She always ran her own road, and ignored the obvious solutions.  She is doing it her own way, and maybe hoping for another day of fishing, shopping, cooking, and loving her family.  Just Vera Idella.  Just her.

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