Communication is Getting Harder

March 25, 2023 – Post #69

Opening up my mom’s Caringbridge page, I can’t believe it’s been a month since I’ve posted anything. I’ve thought many times of writing; but have felt overwhelmed by the many things I have wanted to say.

I’ve wanted to share funny moments about my mom, and express thanks for all the love and support people have shown, and explain why communication and visits have been so drastically curbed; but the days slip by, and somehow I don’t get it done, which makes the task seem all the more daunting.

I guess all I can do is start with today.  I’m sitting beside my mom as we watch the squirrels attempt to conquer their quest from beneath the Lenten roses to the top of the bird feeder pole.  

Their mission is to reach the suet – but their attempts are curtailed by Vaseline applied to the pole.  

I keep wishing we could put little firefighter hats on them as most of the time they slide down to the mulch in temporary defeat.

We’ve had cardinals, woodpeckers, junkos, sparrows, blue jays and bluebirds, searching for food as the sunshine peaks out of the gray sky and spreads in through the window.  When it’s too bright, my mom has been wearing her sunglasses in bed; because she likes the warm rays shining upon her.

She is tired; but says she doesn’t want to close her eyes, because she doesn’t want to miss anything.  

She watches the neighbors’ dogs across the street with a stuffed animal puppy of her own sitting beside her, poised as if he’s watching them, too.

More and more, she is having trouble forming words, or having the strength to whisper; but sometimes she surprises us by clearing her throat and making decisive statements.  

Her energy comes and goes, and so does her confusion.  Our communication is getting harder to come by; and often, when I’m trying to get an idea of what will make her more comfortable, she’ll make a face that cracks us both up – and gets her to coughing again.  I don’t think even Carol Burnette could contort her expressions quite like my mom can. 

Last night I walked through her house room by room to give her a tour via the camera on my phone. She’s unconvinced this is her house and didn’t really recognize the rooms that I showed her; but she likes the one she is in and likes to look out the window.

She’s not as able to engage in conversation and needs time to form her sentences when she does.  She’s been enjoying listening to hymns and sometimes sings along.  She’s lost much of her memory; but still recites the 100th Psalm.

When I look at her phone, I feel a little overwhelmed. Little red bubbles with white numbers say there are 3,225 emails are in her inbox.  22 voicemails.  19 texts.  I know there are more that have been unanswered, and I’m sure some fall into the category of Spam – but I’m not sure how to begin to sift through them.  She’s still mentioning needing to write thank you cards. I know she wants help with that; but whenever we’ve started, she gets too tired.  

I look in the fridge and find food and don’t know who it’s from.  Plants and flowers and gifts arrive, and I have lost track of who sent what.  I know she wants to thank each person individually, and I do too; but I think the squirrels have a better chance of reaching their suet.  I attempt to start; but then there’s another setback.  

All I can do right now is say here that I am sincerely thankful for all the love and support that has been shown to us during this season.  I know she is, too

She is sleeping now.  Birds and squirrels are chasing each other outside her window.  Her grandkids are heading her way.  She is at peace.  She is comfortable, and most of all, she knows she is loved.  

Thank you for that.  Love, Jody 🌻

To read on about how we are dealing with my mom’s decline, you can click here.

*To read more on my mom’s cancer journey from the beginning, or share it, please click below:

It’s Cancer


I'm not sure what to say here: I once got second place in a dog-look-alike-contest? I know how to fold a fitted sheet? I'm pretty much a poster child for social backwardness - at least as far as social media is concerned; but I have some stories I think I'm supposed to share and am attempting to do that here, in this space.

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