Sitting and Waiting

My godmother and aunt died ten years ago. My mother died seven years ago. There is one member of their immediate family to carry on, and she does, day to day.

I’ve told you of a week at hospice with Mom. I want to tell you something else about hospital protocol. The hospice folks were great with Mom. I couldn’t have asked for better care.

When we arrived I was Nathan’s Mom. My indoor cat had gotten out and went to a cat party down the street in my neighbor’s home. He got pneumonia and also had cardiac problems. I brought him in and I was his mom for 13 years since he was five weeks old.

I didn’t know and don’t know how to wipe a laptop except Control C. I stayed up in the lobby all night writing, about him and other things. That laptop was old and not cleaned before giving it away. All I know are the thoughts I had on that uncomfortable bench at four in the morning.

At daylight I was called my name, not Nathan’s Mom. That was a sign that he was headed for euthanasia. A doctor asked to meet me outside to let me cry. But the fact that the hospital no longer called me Nathan’s Mom told me he was no longer an individual, the Burmese cat who never let me get in the last word. Destined for death and I had to make the decision, forthwith.

I held him before, during and after. He sent a peace through my body to let me know he was OK and it was my duty to keep his spirit alive. To this day, I tell people about the wonderful spirit and words he had and how he challenged me every day and I never got in the last word.

Be with your people, your pets, everyone for whom you share a responsibility. Make a casserole for the wife across the street who just lost her husband. Share cookies with the family that just moved in next door.

No-one helped me. I had a network of friends and neighbors and no-one helped me with my mother or my old cat. Luckily my husband was there for Mom, and said at Last Rites “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of her.” And he has.

All I can say is to hang on, remember the good things. look to friends and family and get through it. And don’t worry about getting in the last word. Nathan taught me that. Dee


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