Lord, She Was Lovey-Dovey
Today She Was In China

Preparation

Mom had been doing pretty well until last night. My brother and his fiance went out to pick up some dinner. When they got back, 20 minutes later, she was standing over the sink, her nose bleeding like mad. My brother (who is a physician's assistant) could not get the bleeding stopped, and called 911.

Her blood pressure went through the roof. She was admitted, ostensibly just overnight.

Today the news is not good. She went into atrial fibrillation this morning, a speeding heartbeat, and was confused and slurring her words. Now her heartbeat has slowed into the 30s. It's not a stroke; there is no sign of that. It's more likely a brain stem malfunction.

As her doctor said to me today: "The wheels are coming off the cart." He has a way with words. We are talking about hospice, about DNR, about last rites.

Seven of us were in her hospital room this evening. She ate a little dinner -- broccoli and peaches, and spoke clearly a few times. She dozed off, then she opened her eyes and she spread her hands apart, just like the Blessed Mother, and said, "I love you all so much." I thought we'd hear the heavenly hosts and watch her rise into heaven right then, but not yet. Not quite yet.

It happens so fast, and yet it takes so long. Now we prepare, and now we wait.

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