Thursday, June 26, 2014


In general, I read instructions. I've done plenty of 'build your own' furniture and can't think of any that have fallen apart. I've been known to read instruction manuals--or at least look at indexes when getting an alarm code on my washer or things like that. I even read 'instruction manuals' when I had my babies. Of course, I knew that children didn't really come with an instruction manual, but there were guides along the way. I read about labor and childbirth and breastfeeding and child development and potty training and ... parenting has still been hard.

But not this hard.

The hardest things in life don't come with an instruction manual. I can hardly type the words. I know it's a matter of days before my mom dies. And I don't know how to do this.

I'm figuring out the tasks--push the morphine, push the Zofran, empty the nephrostomy bag, empty the fistula bag, change the fistula dressing, change the diaper, get her whatever she wants to drink or ice chips, cover or uncover her.

But to talk--as she's in and out of sleep, how do I ask the things I want to know that seem so unimportant? Which family line did these old dishes come from? What gospel reading did you want read at the funeral you don't even want but you agree isn't for you--it's for us?

And the simple regrets--I wish I would have pushed you the other day when you were having a good day to record that book for my babies. I don't want them to forget you and the sound of your voice and they have these awesome books that we can record. And now I'm not sure you'll be able to do it.

And we aren't 'touchy' people--should I be now? Should I try to hold your hand or stroke your cheeks or continue to just look at you from across the room?

I wish there was an instruction manual.