I started with great vigor and enthusiasm as the last of the snows flew through the air in the springtime. I pictured myself as unstoppable, so excited was I to help create a dialogue about care giving. After the tiny little launch with a virtual bottle of champagne over the virtual bow of my new space, I set out for a Hospice Foundation of America conference in Salt Lake City. It was incredible for me, the caring people I met and learnings I still will share. The topic was Spirituality and the End of Life. I will be getting to that, it’s important.

Next stop was a visit to upstate New York to visit my mom tucked in the family farmhouse by one of the lovely Finger Lakes. Mom was in the process of recovering from surgery for a broken femur following a fall on the ice. She was fragile but determined to heal and progress.

It’s too close for comfort. It’s my mom. For 94 years she has been there as a pillar of stability and kindness in my life. Folks might ask, “How’s your Mom doing?” The answer has always been, “Great!” And now there is a frail and frightened person who doesn’t know what’s next.

Leaving her was difficult but return to my home-life and my job was imperative. Her situation hasn’t left my mind much since then. She broke her hip without ever falling in the sweltering days of June. Another surgery, hospital stay, anesthesia, rehab and I wasn’t there. Only 11 weeks between bouts of anesthesia that made her paranoid and delusional. A brain fog of pain and medications.

All of this took my voice away. I didn’t have the answers so I dared not speak. It stuck in my throat. I was not able to sleep or write. I needed to find the solution of how to help. I spent hours in the middle of each night tossing and turning, trying to fit the pieces together of how it all might work.

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