On Easter Sunday we woke up at Mom’s. We were upstairs with Carl. I got up and made some coffee. I then went downstairs to check on Grandma and dig out Carl’s Easter Basket (Mom had an empty basket from last year). Mom woke up and told me that last night was very bad. Grandma had awoken several times with bloody diarrhea. She was now exhausted. Mom didn’t want to call the hospice nurse, as she would have to explain grandma’s situation to her. She wanted to wait until Monday when Grandmas regular nurse was on duty.
Mom and I got a basket together for Carl and hid it. When he woke up we told him the Easter Bunny had left him things at different locations since he didn’t know where Carl was going to be. Grandma had also gotten him a chocolate chick. It was really cute – it looked like it was breaking out of an egg.
After Rich got up and we had a little breakfast, we went home to shower, change and get stuff together for Easter. The neighbors were outside, so Rich and Carl went to talk to them while I rushed around with the Easter surprises for Carl. There was a basket from Grandma and Grandpa (Dad and Judi). We also had a stack of books, a video and two board games and as well as a basket with chocolate Flopsy Mopsy and Cotton Tails (in boxes with the original Beatrix Potter drawings – too cute). I had also found a little Easter Train that ran on batteries (Big Lots had some great stuff) and a Cars egg (Sally was inside). I found the Cars egg at Target. We took the basket and some of the toys back to Moms to have another hunt. I also found some Peeps bubbles – bubbles that were in bottles that looked like Bunny Peeps.
I had also made some Easter baskets for my brother’s kids – some metal buckets, each got a chocolate bunny (I couldn’t find anymore of the Beatrix Potter chocolates) and a pack of Peeps bubbles. I also got a few items that were more personalized. Angelina got a ponytail holder and some socks – including some Peeps socks. Joel got a bionicles kit and a robosapien puzzle. David E got a box to organize his scooter hardware and some bungee cords – David was the hardest, what do you get a teenage boy. I thought about stuff my husband would appreciate and tried that.
We went back over to Moms with the two pans of scalloped potatoes (I had made them up before I found out my brother’s family wasnt coming.) We had our Easter dinner of steaks, scalloped potatoes and asparagus. Miracle of miracles – mom didn’t mush the asparagus.
Carl was eating his chocolate chick. He took a bite out of the bottom and then to his surprise, discovered that the chick was empty! He was so amazed. It was funny.
During the day we would listen for Grandma, who was downstairs in her room. She only got up to use the bathroom and needed help with that. It got too hard to hear her, so I took a chair, parked it in the hallway next to her door and read for a while. Mom had been suggesting for many months to Grandma that she move upstairs, but Grandma didn’t want it. Mom that afternoon made the decision that we had to get Grandma upstairs in a hospital bed.
When Grandma was awake, Carl was in her room with her – playing with his new toys and showing her his candy. He would climb up on her bed next to her – it was too cute. We gave grandma her Easter basket – with an eraser that was a little jigsaw puzzle and a picture of Carl with the Easter bunny. Two of Grandmas major passtimes were jigsaw puzzles and crossword puzzles (hence the use of lots of erasers.)
Mom’s neighbor, Laura stopped by with some flowers for Grandma. Laura often walked dogs in the late afternoon and Mom would join her with Clair (Mom’s greyhound). Laura could tell by my face and relief to see her that something was wrong. I told her how Grandma wasn’t doing very well. She went downstairs (with the dogs) to see Grandma. It was quite the commotion. Laura’s dog Blitzen is a Samoyed and she was walking her sister Judy’s dog, Emma. I don’t know what breed Emma is, but she is the size of a St Bernard, but not as drooly as a St. B. Add to this mix Clair – a large Greyhound, and there was a lot of dog crowded into a little space.
Grandma, who has never been fond of big dogs, had some major fans in these dogs. She always had treats for them, talked to them and gave lots of pats and pets. She also could never get Laura’s dogs names correct. The Samoyed who died about a year ago was named Boris – Grandma called him Brutus. Blitzen was Blinken. Grandma told Laura she would be seeing Brutus soon. Later while upstairs Laura said that he would come to the wrong name because he was so devoted to Grandma.
Rich, Carl and I walked Clair up to Laura’s house – she took Clair for a few hours. Clair hadn’t had a walk or exercise for a few days and really needed some activity. Carl got to see "The Other Grandma Carol" – Laura’s mom. When Carl addresses her he calls her Other Grandma Carol. It is pretty funny.
We make arrangements for Laura to bring Clair back later and help move some furniture. Mom had made arrangements with hospice to get a hospital bed and other equipment. Mom also asks if we would stay over again. So Rich and I run home to get my car, changes of clothing and food. We then move Mom’s big bed down to the rec room, some chairs from the TV room into the living room and the day bed from the rec room to the TV room. Laura stays for a glass of wine.
That night we are sleeping in the room next to Grandma. I am up with every sound checking on Grandma. I do not sleep much at all.