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May 29, 2014

How many times have you heard someone say, “It is what it is.” This week alone I have heard it about dozen times from various people, each regarding different sets of circumstances. I myself have said it more than once in just the past forty eight hours.

Memorial Day week has always been an emotional week for me. May 30, 1976 – my brother Bob was killed in a car accident. May 26, 1993 – my dad died following seven years of kidney dialysis with mom as his caregiver. So to discover this week of all weeks, mom experiencing a major decline, in some ways does not really surprise me.   Monday and Tuesday she was very lethargic, incoherent, not communicating with anyone at all. Eating less than 25% of her food and not drinking any fluids. I had a little chat with God and discussed the timing. I told Him that I was not surprised that this would be the week for me to make some important phone calls to the rest of the family. I knew why I was feeling down this week, but does mom know that it is Memorial Day week? Is she more aware than I realize?

Wednesday morning, I walked in to find mom sitting up in her chair and chatting, alert, bright eyed and responsive to every word I said. Looking me straight in the eye and talking (nothing that I could understand, but talking something serious!) All the while never missing the fact that someone walked down the hall. She turned to watch them, and then turned back to talk to me. We went for our usual walk through the building and she chatted with everyone we passed. While we were sitting in the TV room, she reached for my necklace,  I took it off and gave it to her. Then she wanted the other necklace and my watch too. She held on to all of them while we talked. I would love to know just what she was trying to tell me. Her eyes were so clear and intense as she focused on mine. It was a beautiful visit.

I met the hospice nurse in the hallway who had arrived for her bath. We talked about the overnight change. He said he was not surprised, because she always bounces back. He called her a good little bouncer. His final words to me were, “It is what it is.”

Today, I attended the 6th funeral in less than a year for someone from my extended “Alzheimer’s Family.” I knew it was going to be a tough day. Each one gets a little bit harder to bear. When I turned on the car and started to back down the driveway, the DJ on the radio said, “Here now is Elvis to remind you that you are never alone.” I could not control the tears as “my song” started to play. The song always seems to play at just the right time – every time. I think God talks to me through the radio and Elvis.

“When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high/don’t be afraid of the dark/at the end is a golden sky…….and you’ll never walk alone.” Rodgers and Hammerstein 

It is what it is.

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