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  • I've talked about the book I just finished reading, "A Year To Live". In addition to encouraging the "life review", it also has helped me to focus even more on living in the moment. Making each day count - living it like it might be the last one like it that I will have. Since I set my "due date" - August 20th - I must say, each day has been unique, and memorable. I feel myself putting off less, and being right here, a little more.

    I think this has helped me to "be here" with Mom, a little more. If I got nothing else out of reading that book and committing to the concept than that, that'd be enough.

    I've found myself having conversations with her I never had before. There are whole parts of her life that I've never heard her talk about. I don't know why I didn't ask her about them before, but I am now, and she seems to love talking about it. She's really opened up to me about her father. I never realized how much she truly admired him. Despite his problems with work and with drinking, she really thought the world of him. I never knew he had fought in World War I - turns out he was a sargeant, and led a platoon, and saw a lot of battle action. She really lights up when she talks about these things.

    Yesterday, the best I hoped for was maybe getting a game of Mah Jong or Scrabble in at her apartment. I didn't think she'd be up for much more than that. After the way she was feeling Friday night, I wasn't expecting her burst of energy on Saturday. We got over there a little after noon, and she was napping. She'd been in a lot of pain earlier, and had taken some of the stronger pain medication.

    But she really surprised us. She came out and suggested we go out for lunch. We went to her favorite little Italian restaurant down in Pawleys Island. We'd thrown the beach chairs in the trunk, "just in case". After a wonderful lunch, she just looked at us and said, "Beach?" And off we went!

    This time, we got up closer to the water, and stayed for a good hour and a half. This was Mom fully in her element. For that hour and a half, there were no thoughts of dying, or words lost, or pain management. We just sat in the sun and enjoyed watching the big waves continually crash right in front of us, took turns telling stories in between long moments of joy-filled quiet, all of us just relishing being alive, and in each other's company.

    It couldn't have been a more beautiful day. The best August 25th ever.
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