I saw Mom on Wednesday, with Marcia, and she was a lot quieter, and seemed really tired. She mostly kept her eyes closed quietly although still seemed to be listening to us, and sometimes responded. Goodbyes are tough, though, so it makes sense that she’d be a little withdrawn.

I had a dentist appointment yesterday so couldn’t get over to Leesburg, but Werner reported that their visits were very similar to Wednesday. He and Dad have been visiting morning and afternoon, and he said that she seemed very quiet and tired.

When I got to the hospice in the morning today, she was just about to eat some ice cream, so that was a good sign. After about ten minutes, though, she lay back down and curled up with her pillows. I pulled out one of her scrapbooks and looked through it, asking the occasional question or commenting, but she was very quiet and didn’t volunteer any information. I did give her the messages that you’d given me for her, and she smiled but didn’t say much, if anything, in response. When I went back in the afternoon, she had just had other visitors (neighbors) and I knew that Dad would also be arriving soon, so I told her to rest and I’d just sit with her until Dad came and she took me up on that offer. I don’t know whether she slept but her eyes were closed.

She looks very yellow and very thin, but she also seems very peaceful. We talked a little bit about things in the house — I wanted to be sure I knew which pieces of furniture had belonged to which grandparents, and she was able to tell me a bit, describing where specific tables were located and who they had belonged to. But she also seemed uninterested in a way that she wouldn’t have been, even just a couple of weeks ago.

I had hoped to maybe run into the doctor today so I could send an update that might be a little more informed than just my opinion, but no such luck, so this is basically just my perceptions. I’ve never been through this before, not like this, so I don’t really have any points of comparison, but I think we can probably pretty definitely rule out the possibility that she will come home at all. I don’t think that will happen anymore. And I don’t really think that there’s a lot of time left, either. If you do want me to tell her anything, now is definitely the time. (That goes for everyone who gets this via forwarded email, too — please feel free to let me know anything you’d like me to tell her, special memories in particular would be welcome. I like being with her at the hospice but she and I have talked about all our best memories already, sometimes more than once!)

I’m headed back tomorrow. We’ll have a family dinner — Dad, Werner, Karen and her kids, Rory and me — in Leesburg tomorrow night and I’m cooking, so you probably won’t get another update tomorrow. (Although since I’m cooking, other people get to clean up!) But I’ll write again on Sunday night or Monday morning. Werner had thought about leaving yesterday, but he’s decided to stay for another week.

I get asked how Dad’s doing: sometimes he seems fine and other times he seems very, very tired. To be honest, I think the times when he seems fine are when he’s trying really hard for our sake, and the other times more reflect how he’s really feeling.