Then found out a little girl, only 3 years old, lost her battle with a brain tumor today. Things were up and down for her the last few months, so its not a total shock - but still a total heartbreak for the family. They described in an email what it was like when she was unhooked from all the machines and they were allowed to carry her outside to a special garden they had just for this purpose. She was in her mother's arms with her father and other family members, wearing her favorite purple shoes, and she slowly just stopped breathing. It took my breath away reading that....how does one go on?
After that I got a call (at work) from a mom who was trying to get her son some community service hours. She was me three years ago. She didn't mention drugs, but I knew so I brought up that my son had to do community service at the same age as her son and that he got into drugs, etc. She then broke down and told me all about her boy and how she was at the end of her rope, etc. etc. The agony in her voice was something so many of us have felt. I gave her my best "hope" talk but am going to call her back tomorrow and offer to be there for her if she needs a friend. No one should have to go through this alone, and it sounded like she and her husband felt alone.
Next we got a call at the office that our dear, sweet, wonderful 97 year old volunteer, Dr. R, had suffered a stroke. The doctors are treating him as if he's 20 years younger than his true age because he's in perfect health other than this "set back". I hope he bounces back. He rides this little cart to our office every Friday to stuff bulletins with three of his lady friends. I bring him a half cup of black coffee and he calls me Sweetheart.
Lastly, I visited someone with Alzheimer's on Saturday. It was my first time ever being around it. I was with a friend visiting his aunt. She's been in a home for years, she has absolutley no recollection of anything. I knew her over 30 years ago when she was vibrant and young and happy. To see her Saturday was disturbing to say the least. Yet, she seemed happy. She grabbed my hand and smiled up at me from her wheelchair. I told her that her ring was pretty and she giggled like a little girl. Then she wanted me to swing her hand in mine and she loved that. Her first language is Dutch and about a year ago she stopped speaking English. No one at the home knows Dutch but my friend is fluent so he spoke to her. I saw her eyes light up when she heard her languge but she was confused when we named her sons, and tried to tell her who we were. She just stared at us blankly. To anyone out there that has a family member with this cruel disease - bless you. It has to be the most difficult thing to experience. Your loved one is there, seemingly healthy, but they have no idea who you are and they live in their own little world. Heartbreaking.
Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara