Thursday, January 3, 2008

Wow I didn't realize that my last post was the 9th. I thought I must have posted something closer to when we left for Chicago, but I guess not.

I have been away, longer than I had planned. My mother in law passed away the day after Christmas after a 9 1/2 month battle with pancreatic cancer. She was weak when we got up on the 21st, but still had enough energy to take over my attempt at making waffles on Sunday morning. On Monday morning she just started going downhill, falling asleep mid bites of breakfast that she was unable to swallow and didn't want to admit that she couldn't. She had forgotten to take her pain medicine but didn't tell us she was in pain. She slept through most of Christmas eve day, but managed to gather up enough strength and will to demand she attend the neighborhood Christmas eve party. Her other daughter-in-law did her hair and makeup and got her dressed, and we drove her the two doors down where she ended up sleeping in a chair for most of the hour she was there. When we brought her home she fell back asleep, and but for a few eye openings, didn't wake up again.

She passed away around 2:45 in the afternoon, at home with all of us around her but for once not hovering over her. I think she wanted it that way. My sister-in-law had been falling asleep next to her and just minutes earlier decided to get up and make a sandwich. I was talking to her cousin about how we'd spent that night. R came back with a sandwich and sat down next to me at the foot of where she was sleeping. I took one bite of sandwich and realized that her chest was no longer moving. I slowly put the sandwich down and went to her without saying anything. Her heart had been racing all night, but there was nothing when I placed my hand on her chest. I had to go into the kitchen to give my brother & sister-in-law the news.

Her breathing had been shallow and congested for hours, but there was nothing to alert us that it was time. She was probably gone for a few minutes before we even noticed.

She wanted to make it through Christmas, and did. I'm just so thankful that we were up there.

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