Making the Most of Each Visit

I met the greatest family one time when their mother had come to the hospice house for a brief stay to manage some pain issues she was having. Their mom had been diagnosed with cancer two months earlier and given six months to live. At the time I met her she was doing well, able to move about without assistance and still enjoying activities outside her home. Her daughter Susan lived very close by, in fact, lucky for her, all her children lived within an hour or so drive to her house. It was her daughter Susan who came up with the idea early on of having a family dinner every Sunday at whosever house that wanted to host that week. Her other brothers and sister and their children, teenagers included, all made the trek every Sunday.  She told me that   ‘Sometimes we did nothing but hang out and watch tv, or sit by the pool afterwards. And the time my brother landed himself in the hospital on a Sunday we set up Skype. The point was for us all just to be together for mom.’ I liked that they had thought to take videos, which I saw the next time their mom came into the hospice house. But this time she came to the hospice house on a stretcher by ambulance and was in and out of consciousness.  The videos played  while they sat vigil in the room. In the videos they were laughing and reminiscing about childhood memories and I could hear their mom’s voice sharing stories from her own childhood and early days with their father. Their mom, as it turns out, did not have six months to live and passed away sooner than anyone had expected, but her daughter Sheryl told me how good it made her feel thinking back on those Sundays and seeing everyone have that quality time with their mom. My sister’s husband was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer back in October and he too was given a five to six months life expectancy. Their children live close by and were always available to help out with car rides to the doctor or errands that needed to be run. This past Thanksgiving the family all got together and at the last minute everyone gathered around outside for a family picture. That picture captured a moment where everyone was relaxed, happy, and smiling.  Looking at that picture now no one would have predicted that a very short five weeks later my brother in law Jack would be dead. So, please, whenever possible, make every moment count. You can’t say I love you enough, and believe me I am just as sure you can’t hear it being said to you often enough either. Don’t put off the phone call, or the visit or the picture. Time is definitely not on our side, and the clock is always ticking.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Beth says:

    How true, making every moment count means everything when the time is short. I wish I had found your blog when my mother in law was ill. I will certainly signpost others to your blog if they are going through the same.

  2. meKathy says:

    Thank you Beth, appreciate your comments. I appreciate your spreading the word, as that is my hope to reach people who are going through this tough time. So many issues and emotions..

Leave a Reply