It's definitely been an interesting time. Auntie finally left last Friday, I think. It was nice to have the house back, but it was really different because then it was just us! Family reunion for pappy's side came around and I didn't go on Friday night, because I didn't want to leave you, but I took a chance to go Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. You were doing fine, and you don't get up on your own anymore, and you mostly sleep, so I decided to go for a little bit each day. I knew it was something I needed to do or I would regret it. We only do this every two years. It was so great to see the family!! I was so glad to be able to spend time with them! They of course asked about you and I told them you have had good and not so good days. I got some nice pictures and brought them home for you to look at. I'm not sure you recognized some of them, but some I think you did. It was important for me to be able to do this and have pictures to show you and talk about with you. Going and being with family definitely was good for my spirit. I needed to see them again, especially to see and spend time with Auntie Alberta and Uncle George, pappy's oldest brother and sister, 88 and 89 years old. Both of them live alone down on the property in Georgia and they looked great! Cousin Patty had a party for Auntie Alberta on Tuesday for her 88th birthday. It was another nice night! Uncle George is also suffering from Dementia, but when he was asked if he knew who I was, he said he knew I was Buddy's daughter, but just couldn't remember my name. I was so excited to hear that!!! Cousin Debra and I chatted a lot during the reunion because she goes over and takes care of Uncle George every day. We talked about many similar experiences. She said Uncle George loves his sweets too! That is so you! She talked about answering the same questions every few minutes. You don't ask anymore, you haven't been talking much, but I remember those days well! It was wonderful and a bit emotional for me when everything was over and I had to say the final see ya! I'm so glad I decided to do that, to see them, touch them, hug them, talk to them once again. I really do hope and pray I can see them all again sometime soon!
As I said, you have had some good and some not so good moments. You have been a little more interactive lately which has been nice. I have added coconut oil to our diet because I have heard some wonderful things about it. The coconut oil has seemed to help your mood, you haven't been as agitated with me, and you have been asking more things lately. A few days ago you asked me what day it was, another time I was watching TV with you and you asked if the lady was the mother of the couple of kids that were on. We were watching Dog Whisperer and he was helping a family, so you put that together. Another day when I went into the room to check on you, you asked me where I was before. I wish I were able to blog more consistently because then I could remember more things more clearly. It just is hard to do when there are always different people over the house. It is great to have the help, but I never know when anyone is exactly coming. They call 20 min. to an hour before they plan to come over. Then there are sometimes 2-4 people that come out to see you or me, between the care manager, the social worker, the hospice nurse, the home health aide, the occupational therapist, the massage therapist, and the homemaker/companion. Don't get me wrong, I am so glad for all of the help for you. That helps me so much. So, yes, there have been those good signs of you interacting with me and the aide or the companion. Last week when the aide came on Monday, you were back to your jokey person. I asked if you loved me when the companion was there and you said, "Not really." The companion and I had to laugh about that. Another time you told her, "That's my daughter." She asked what my name was but you couldn't tell her, you started with a "Sss...", but that was all you got out. So she went through a list of different names and you kept shaking your head or saying no. Then she asked if it was Stacey and you grinned and nodded your head yes. There have been some sweet moments like that. Last night after I changed you and was heading to bed, I put my head by yours and I felt you press your head toward mine and I told you I loved you, and you whispered back, "I love you, too." That continually blesses my heart. You have held my hand, you have rubbed my hand with your thumb, you've given me winks back when I wink at you, you have smiled for me when I asked (after asking a couple of times:), you have told me you loved me, when I asked if I was your favorite girl you said yes. These are all things I want to treasure always, which is a reason why I write this blog...to keep those things close to me.
Then, there are days like yesterday and today. You haven't seemed to feel as well. You haven't eaten much either. You seem to be in more pain, and you haven't talked to me as much. You have been keeping food in your cheeks and not swallowing it right away. You haven't had much problem swallowing food, but you have had trouble swallowing drinks. You don't choke or anything, but just gulp big, and close your eyes, or you just hold it in your mouth for a while. A couple of weeks ago, you ate a pancake and your egg sandwich, yesterday you actually ate more than I thought. You had some pancake for breakfast again and later in the day, then later on you wanted some ziti and ate some of that. Today you barely ate an egg and you keep saying you don't want anything else. I tried to get you to drink your Ensure, but you won't drink that either. It is days like these that I worry that I won't have you much longer. But just this past Friday, the home health aide got you up in your wheelchair and you sat in there for about 6 hours because you didn't want to get back into the bed. I finally just had to put you back so I could change you. This was the first time I had moved you by myself since you came home from the hospital. I had been doing it before, but everyone said it's a two person job, so I stopped trying. But the aide got you up by herself to see if she could, so I told her I would try to put you back by myself, so I did and it was fine! I love the aide, but sometimes she doesn't seem to have as much patience with you and keeps telling you to do the same things over and over and I see you start to shut down. But she is good with you and tries to help you not just lay there watching TV. I just hope she's not draining you, and I pray for wisdom if she's not the right one, although she is great at what she does. I worry on days like today that you might not make it to tomorrow, but I know it's all in the Lord's hands and I trust Him. I have selfishly prayed for a little longer with you. I really desire to get a family picture taken soon, one with you, Bella, and myself. We haven't taken a picture together since I have been teaching, which is about 16 years. Both of our churches had their new directories done and we got our pictures done, but you did yours alone and I did mine alone. Last fall I wanted to try to go to a professional place to get our picture taken with Bella, but sadly never followed through. So, I hope and pray you will be willing to hold on so we can do that soon. You are my heart, you are my best friend, you are my favorite girl and I love you so much!!!