This past Sunday was the mother of all Mother’s Days. What a gift to have Ingrid be able to enjoy her kids & family on a day that made it feel like summer hasn’t abandoned this country yet. Earlier in the day, my sister and I took the kids, my mom, and mom-in-law up to Sparkling Hill for a wicked brunch. It’s always refreshing to eat waaaaay too much bacon and also a treat to double my mom on the motorbike and break the law (only 140 km/h) in the sun.
Ingrid’s dad & Henny flew into town later that afternoon along with her sister, Esther. Pure gold to break the law straight from the airport to room #206 at the hospice house to share some sweet tears and silence while we all just waited for a bit of eye contact from Ingrid. That night, one of the only sentences she was able to make out was “Ik hou van u papa“.
Ingrid never made it home after her initial trip to hospice – we were hopeful to bring her back but this is / has been the best place for her. Her strength is slowly disappearing and every day we’ve watched as she went from being able to take a few steps to now not eating, saying very little, having a catheter, and talking like she just drank 23 beers. She’s a bit confused (due to tumours on her brain they think) but has moments of total clarity and it appears that inappropriate jokes are about the only things that make her smaugh (smile / laugh). Tonight, as we were leaving her room, she put her arm around Misha and whispered “I love you so much.” Frig that was a beauty.
When she first got to hospice she was able to walk and tried to escape a couple of times in the middle of the night. Not Shawshank Redemption style, more Nell style where she took off to the other wing of the hospice house and ended up asking some random woman in another room where she was. My mom, me, Esther and Simone (my sister) have spent nights sleeping over there on a cot that they provide. Ya, $32/night and they don’t even charge you extra for a cot. What a deal. Stick that price in your pipe and try to smoke it Best Western. Now that she doesn’t have the strength to sit up anymore, she lies peacefully as her pump feeds her constant medication and the nurses come every few hours to turn her in order to avoid bruising.
It’s been friggin’ emotional – doesn’t take much to make our eyes leak like a Henry bucket but it’s all part of it. As Jack Handy said, “It takes a big man to cry, but a bigger man to laugh at that man.” So we let ‘er rip as some tears fall in pain, others in amazement, and others in question as to what life will be like…
For now, we have arranged that Ingrid will have someone with her in the room 24-7 with family & close friends taking shifts. For those of you who would like to pass on a message, you can leave a comment below or on Facebook – from time to time we will read the notes to her… even if it is speaking the words to her spirit. The words bring life, so thank you for those. And by the way, your words that are sent to her via email or Fbook message are actually forwarded on to me now so if you have anything private, well, you get what I’m saying.
This past Friday, a friend, photographer, and mentor of Misha’s Jessica Balfour came and took some photos of us together. Sylas really wanted to wheel Ingrid outside and we were able to get her out for a small stroll along the garden. Here are a few of the shots along with a sneak peek at the painting Misha gave her mama for Mother’s Day.