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  • Things are settling into a rhythm here at Mom’s. My first day here, we went to her Pulmonary Doctor, and unsurprisingly, though we both, along with my brother Chris a little later, went through a bit of a shock after the talk, had the “end-of-life” discussion with Dr. Y. It felt right and natural at the time he brought it up. We’ve really been talking about it here and there for the past couple months. But, having a doctor say it – “With the condition of your lungs, and your overall condition, you’re really looking at months, at this point” - we came out of there, and both went through our individual moments of shock.

    But, we moved past that. Talked it out. Chris came over for dinner and we all felt good about the next decision. We decided to get going with setting up Home Hospice care here. This is what she wants. We had such a positive experience with it with Dad 16 years ago, and it allows her to go through the process right here in her home. Dignity intact. No more running around to all these doctors with all their crazy experimental schemes and theories. Hospice simplifies a lot of things. Mom is so ready for simple at this point.

    She also feels a whole lot better about all the sleeping she’s been doing. I can’t believe that she feels guilty about it, but she was. Now, she feels she has a legitimate reason. She’s dying. You sleep a lot. It’s o.k.

    It’s such a blessing that she still has her mental clarity at this stage, when she is awake. Hell, she beat me at scrabble yesterday! Today, I got a lot of the good letters and was able to use them, so I beat her, but not without a tough fight. When Kathy gets down here later in the week, we’ll break out the beloved Mah Johng game. That’s Mom’s, and my, favorite. It’s getting tougher for her to see those tiles, but she still manages.

    I hijacked Chris’ bike yesterday after they left to go back to Michigan. In the evenings, I go out an hour before sundown and ride around the cart paths of the Litchfield Country Club’s golf course, just down the road here. Last night I did holes 5 through 9, then rode around the complex here, where the lighting was better. Tonight, I did holes 9 through 18, having gotten an earlier start.

    This morning, I drove down to the north causeway access to the island at Pawley’s Island, with the bike in the back, parked the car and rode the bike out the causeway, and all the way out the road that runs alongside the salt marshes side of the island, down to the southern point of the island. Might just be my favorite place in the whole world. I love those marshes. That feels so much like home to me. Ever since Mom moved down here in 2001, that’s where I feel this deep sense of home when we come down to visit. Many a morning meditation, looking out over those marshes as the sun came up.

    The food here is so good, and plentiful, I need to keep up the bike riding to keep from completely falling out of shape, having gone from playing softball 4 – 5 nights a week, to doing nothing. I thought I’d be coming down for a couple weeks, but now it looks like I’ll be here for the better part of a month. I’m good with it. To spend this time with Mom – I feel so blessed. Whatever I can do to make this time count, and to help it to be meaningful for her, and comfortable, this is my goal. Fortunately, she’s been in great spirits since I arrived.

    Amazing woman, she is. Not an easy time, yet she faces it with her characteristic determination, spirit, and no-nonsense approach. Let’s just do this. Amazing.

    Photo taken on my I-Phone on my bike ride this morning – Pawley’s Island Salt Marshe
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