Friday, June 12, 2009

Mom still going strong

At about 3pm yesterday, Pastor Andrew Cheah, a lovely smiley pastor from St Mary's church came and read to mom. She seemed to enjoy it. Then at about 5pm, the Hospis dr came to see mom and alerted us that she is shutting down and it may be a mattter of hours.

We informed the family and close friends and people started arriving. All the people that mom knows and loves came. Bernard brought his keyboard and sang to her all evening. Mom's eyebrows would go up and her hand would respond when she heard her favourite songs : South Of The Border, Hello Dolly, You Are My Sunshine, Oh What A Friend We Have In Jesus and Amazing Grace.

It was a night filled with Love and Rememberance of good times. Just like mom to bring us all together! I can imagine her playing the charming hostess and greeting everyone!

Later, at about 9 or 10pm, the intervals between each breath grew longer and longer. Sometimes, almost one minute would pass without her breathing. So we all gathered around her bedside and spoke to her, bracing ourselves for her to take her leave and telling her it's ok to go.

Well, if you know mom, you would know how long she takes to say goodbye and take her leave. It always happens at every function. She knows so many people. So when dad says it's time to leave, she will start saying her goodbyes and it will take forever. So why should this be any different now?

The family is clear that we have given her permission to go. Wati has also spoken to her on behalf of Ken. So I don't think it is us that is holding her back. I think it is her will. And you know how strong willed she is :)

Throughout her irregular breathing, her heart was strong. Her pulse was strong. At about midnight, Sonny half-jokingly said we'd better to prepare more oxygen for her. He knows her well too.

Anyway, we got ready to spend the night with mom. Wati, Mike, Phyllis, Mellissa, Maxine and David (my cousin) all camped out - on the various sofas, mattresses, chairs and floors. Our cats must have been wondering why so many people scattered all over! This is mom's way of bringing the family together and raising us to a higher degree of intimacy.

At about 2 -3am, we all dozed off. I was holding mom's hand and was stretched out on 3 chairs beside her so I could hear her breathing. It became more regular! Her pulse and her grip remained strong. I had a feeling she wasn't ready to go yet. So we slept.

At about 6.30am, we started waking up, and yes! Mom was still going strong. Her breathing was more regular, her grip and pulse are not as strong now. She is so peaceful. No problem breathing, no struggle of any kind. Bena and the nurse gave her a sponge bath and settled her down.

Meanwhile, I quickly ordered more oxygen! Sonny's prediction came true.

Dad and I are just amazed at her strength and resilience. Or stubborness. She is so strong willed, she will go when she is good and ready and no one can tell her otherwise. We are happy to support her in this, and we abide by her wish. I remain open to 'hear' what else she wants. As long as she is comfortable and peaceful, we can be at peace too.

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