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Monday, May 30th

The nights are way too short!   Even with Jim getting up with the baby, I feel like I’m not getting enough sleep.  Tonight, the baby is all mine so that Jim can go to work in the morning.  We’ll see how tomorrow is.

I pulled the grill out about 11 and made my dad a bratwurst with sauerkraut sandwich.  He’s been craving one, and with Memorial Day here, he really wanted one.  I packed it up and took it over to the hospital with Brighid and Eilis.  He just about inhaled the sandwich, but had a piece left when Ann and my Aunt Joan arrived at the hospice.  We sent Brighid down to the cafeteria to get a soda for him, and while he watied, he took a big drink of water.  He is pretty much filling up with fluid, plus mucous from the pneumonia, and when he took the big sip, he choked.  Ann tried pulling him up and patting him, but he was really choking.  The nurse came running in and propped him up a little better and asked if he wanted to be suctioned – which he declined immediately.  His face was turning beet red, his eyes were watering, and all I could think was with all his damn health problems, leave it to my bratwurst to be the cause of death.  I already get enough criticism on my cooking.

After about an hour, I left the hospital and took Eilis to my mom’s for the afternoon.  I figured Jim could use the break from having both kids all weekend.  I spent about an hour at my mom’s, then decided to go home and pump before I went back to the hospital.  Every minute I get with the baby is revitalizing.  I just sniff her hair, rub her little feet, kiss her tiny nose – I miss her while I am at the hospital, but can’t imagine not being with my dad right now.

Brighid and I headed back to the hospital after picking up a bottle of salad dressing.  Ann’s sister Maria is making my dad dinner and he likes Ranch dressing with his salad.  When we got back, my Uncle Bud and Aunt Lee are there with my cousin Angel.  They are waiting to go to the airport to pick up my Aunt Mary.  Ann has spoken to my Uncle Bobby’s wife Judy, who tells her that he left Missouri last night and should be here by Tuesday.  Shortly after Brighid and I arrived, my Uncle Bobby and my cousin John come in.  He has driven through the night to get there.  He is my dad’s youngest brother, and he is the most sensitive.  My Uncle Bud walks him into the room with my dad, and I hear my Uncle Bob crying.  Then, as he has with everyone so far, my father has done or said something to bring laughter to the room.  My Uncle Bobby comments that he is glad my dad is so talkative and alert.  At some point, my Uncle Bud, Aunt Lee and Angel head out.

My Uncle Bob has to bring John to his mom’s house, and he needs a bit of sleep and a shower.  He decides to head out and just minutes after he leaves, my Uncle Bud and Aunt Lee are back with my Aunt Mary.  She has just finished her last round of chemotherapy for colon cancer, but she looks really good.  She has flown in from Colorado, just days before the packers are coming to her house to help them move to their new home in Florida.  I am so glad for my dad that all of his brothers and sisters can be with him.

I still have to go to Medford to get Eilis, so when Maria gets there with my dad’s dinner, I decide to head out.  I go in to say goodbye to my dad and ask him if I can bring him something in the morning.  He has been talking about scrapple, but hasn’t gotten it yet.  Unfortunately, he is experiencing some nausea from the toxins that are building up in his body.  He tells me he thinks he is going to stick with the menu.

Things I have noticed today – my dad’s breathing is getting a bit heavier.  He is a little bit less “strong” today – his voice seems just a touch weaker.  His belly is also getting the distended look.  I just pray they can keep him free of pain.

He tells me to bring Eilis back, so I may do that for a few minutes tomorrow.  Then he tells me I don’t have to come every day because it’s going to get messy.  I tell him I’m having a blast, as sarcastically as I can, and then I kiss him goodbye.  Then I go the car, shed a few tears, and shape up before I get home.