I meant to write this post about an hour ago, while my nails dried, but my FIL came into the kitchen looking for something. He doesn't know who I am anymore. He doesn't know Grace either. Thankfully, Max is with his dad and doesn't have to see the quick decline we're witnessing. But, he did let me make him a drink and I ruined my nails getting him ice and putting it in a spill proof cup, because he can't hold things anymore either. I'm not fixing them.
I held his drink to his mouth and then made him some eggs. Eggs I had to feed him because he couldn't hold the spoon.
A week ago, he was cutting up and getting around just fine. Grace decided to surprise him at her choir concert and sing him his favorite song as her Christmas present to him since we knew this would likely be the last and wanted to make sure to do something special while he was still strong enough to get out.
Now, hospice has come in and the time we have left with him is being measured in days. Not weeks. Not months. Days.
The hospice nurse told us once a patient reaches this point, wanting him to hold on is more for the family and not the person suffering because, honestly, he doesn't even know where he is anymore and he's not living anyway-he's existing. I get that. Or at least my brain does. My heart wants a miracle and for him to be back to his witty, smart ass self and for all of this to go away.
This afternoon, I will travel to my hometown where my best friend of 30 years and I will spend the next two days watching as our best friend of 20+ years buries her mother. Our hearts are already broken. Over the next two days, as we support our beautiful friend, they will break to the point where we feel like they can't break anymore.
But I know they can.
Because in just a few days I'll be back in that same funeral home, saying goodbye to a man who hasn't been in my life long at all, but who has changed my family's life in ways we never imagined. Despite his many imperfections and all the mistakes he made with NJ when he was a boy, he made us better. He made us closer. He made our hearts more open.
We will say goodbye to a man we didn't get enough time with.
Just like my best friend didn't get enough time with her mother. Her sweet, beautiful, talented mother who also changed the lives of everyone with whom she came in contact.
Here is the performance my FIL missed last night. Ignore the part where the mic falls apart and throws Grace off for a second.
Twenty minutes before this performance, my Gracie was in tears because her PaPaw didn't know who she was when she went to welcome him home. Her strength and resilience astound me.
PaPaw did get to see the video while I made his eggs. I turned around to see him wiping away tears, like maybe for a moment he knew who she was.
I had to hide my own face so he wouldn't see the tears streaming down my face.
I have to be strong for him. I have to be strong for NJ and for my kids.
But tonight? While Rosa and I are alone at her house, I don't have to be strong. I can be a big snotty mess and she'll be a snotty mess right along with me.
And this time I'm bringing the damn corkscrew because I think we're going to need it.