On December 14, I sent the following email to family members....
Good morning family,
I'm pleased to report that Dad had a really sweet day yesterday. His nausea was improved so that we gave him very few medications. He "ate" well, as I had made him a homemade chicken broth that felt good in his belly, he reported. He was alert and pleased to take a wheelchair ride to the living room, where Mom played "Home for Christmas" (a few loving tears shed) and other Christmas carols on her piano. She looked so beautiful and strong sitting there and playing her heart out for him, and he was receiving every note with much love and glistening eyes.
We watched the Christmas episode of "Modern Family" and shared a few laughs, and dad had a cozy nap in his favorite easy chair wrapped in the Pendleton Wool "Healing Hands" blanket Matt and I had given my parents last Christmas and wearing his cute Jayhawk Santa hat. Dad taught Mom and me how to light the gas fireplace for the season (gas on, pilot lit, logs out and back in--we did it!), and we enjoyed a fire, though the weather outside was delightfully mild!
Dad read the emails I've been sending and many of the wonderful notes that have come in response. He had a couple of visitors and a wonderful phone call from Michelle with a report that baby Cole is growing, active in her belly and getting ready for his March 25 debut into the world. (Great-Grampa Jerome has a gift for the baby tucked under the tree!)
The day ended with mom and dad cuddling sweetly and some sadness that this "normal" day might be rare, indeed. But aren't they all? We talked about staying present for what is happening right now, letting past regret and future fear dissolve away as we simply show up for the magic of the moment. I shared some of my recently learned insight about understanding that the body and its sensations, thoughts, emotions, memories and beliefs is very real and tangible but not the full story of who we are. From meditation work I've done, I shared my understanding that expanded awareness can surpass the limited perceptions of the physical self and provide a refuge for a frightened mind. Sadness and joy were present together as we considered this possibility.
We've never been here before. The journey is challenging, raw, full of unknowns. We are taking it slowly and lovingly.
Sending light and love from our nest in Cedarwood Hills,