So, we saved up some money and found a nice place in Savannah GA. One of my favorite places to visit. It's old, it's romantic and it's beautiful. I found a beautiful hotel that I thought fit what I was looking for and though it was pricey... I thought it was needed. The Planters Inn took amazing care of them. A bottle of wine in their room that was complimentary from the staff, a turndown service with chocolate on the pillow each night, valet parking for them, bottles of water and ice brought to their room at their request, a cheese and fruit platter delivered to their room. They were amazing and treated them like they were really something special, which was worth every penny!
We also made them reservations at the Pirate House, a famous place in Savannah, it's a great dinner spot with lots of history. I spoke to the manager on several occasions and made special arrangements to have them call me with the bill so I could pay for it over the phone (something they don't usually allow) However, upon thinking about it, the manager, instead of calling me... took care of the bill as a gift to us and mom. It was inspiring to know that people care and are willing to do their part. Something that was so small to him, but it meant the world to me. Mom had a nice meal at a cool place and the waitress and staff treated them like it was their place and that made the night special.
|clearly, she's loved|
I wanted to also do something sweet and romantic for them. Mom loves horses and though she can't ride, I thought it would be nice to send them on a romantic carriage ride through beautiful Savannah. So, we found a company, bought a private tour, and they even came to the hotel and picked them up right at the front door. Mom's never done anything like this or been treated so nicely, made to feel so important. I thought it was wonderful for them, and I couldn't be happier that they got to experience it together, have some quiet time and check something off her list.
It was important to me that this was special and we were able to pull it off with a little help from some very caring managers in Savannah.
She said she had a few flare ups with pain, so we are managing that as it comes. Overall, her pain level is slowly increasing, but is still manageable enough for her to "enjoy" her life. Which is what we wanted when we chose this path. She's needing oxygen more frequently and her she has lot's of panic attacks, little ones, but they are increasing. I am certain those are from the overall realization of things. She's going through the grief process same as any of us will and are.
As I have said before, she is grieving the life she will miss, the time she thought she had. Every amazing adventure or experience is bitter -sweet, with a feeling of sadness blended in. A feeling of I wish I had done this sooner, or could do it again. A feeling of sadness that it will be a "last time".
Can you imagine going to visit your son and family and knowing that when you walk out that door, it will be the last time you feel his arms around you? I have wondered these past few weeks about life, about death and how it comes to people. How there is no answer to the question is it better to just wake up and someone suddenly be gone (like in a car accident) or to have time to say goodbye and watch them slowly turn into something, someone you don't really recognize. There is no answer, I have been on both sides and there is nothing that makes losing someone easy. I promise. I know that people say time is a blessing and that is true to a degree. Those who have judged me for not doing things better, not giving her more "hope" not letting her try other options... Those people don't make me angry, they make me glad for them. I feel like those who are judging how I am handling things, how we are doing things, have never been in our shoes, they've never had cancer touch their loved ones or had to watch and help someone as they make their way through their final days. I am happy for them, sad that they chose to voice it so matter of factly to me without understanding, but happy that they don't really get it either.
I have been here twice before with people I loved more than time or words could every express. It's unfair, it's a cruel joke that doesn't end. But, it's life and no one get's to the end without loss or moments of regrets. My mom and I have many. We have a lifetime of disagreements, of strife, of misery that no one understands or truly knows except for close family. What I am doing, opening my home, my life, my heart to care for her, to make sure she's comfortable and can "enjoy" the day's she has left... is a gift that most of you will never understand. It took a lot of soul-searching, a lot of walking away from the past and finding a good therapist that lets me complain and cry and a family that does the same.
I have an amazing set of brothers who have been here for me, two sister-in-laws who never ever let me forget I am loved and being thought about. An aunt who checks on me almost daily and an immediate family who could not be more perfect and some friends who have really stepped up. Friends who don't even live close who send me love and check in on me. Then there are those of you who do the same for mom. Cards come often and so do messages and love.
They say you find out who your friends are in your darkest moments and that... is so amazingly true! No, life... this portion of it, the cancer, the turmoil it's brought, the chaos it's brought is not easy... but it's what is going on and in the end... I don't know if I will be better for it, but I won't regret being a good person and not turning away family because it's "hard" to deal with.
I wanted to say a special thank you to those who have sent money to help out with things. For now, I am setting all the money aside for final expenses since it's going to be so much and we are currently paying for all the bucket list stuff out of our own pockets. So, we are doing the best we can with what we have. Please know your help has meant a great deal to me. It really does make my heart do a little skip when I get an email that someone has donated.
Even if you can only give 10.00, everything helps, it really does! I would appreciate anyone who could pass along the donation information. I would love to send mom and Al to the beach for a couple of day's before she get's too weak. My other favorite place is Wilmington. It holds a special place in my heart as my husband and I vacation there. It really is nice and I know mom would love it. Asking for help is NOT in my nature, it's extremely hard for me and I have been known to push myself to exhaustion and tears to get things done without asking for help. So, please know that asking for help with the finances has been the hardest thing for me, but I do truly need the help.