Sunday, August 24, 2014

Every Day

The ninth installment in my series about my sister Mary Claire.

Monday, March 24, 2014
The first thing we do in the morning, when Jane, Julia and I wake up, is head to MC’s room to see how the night went and if there were any changes. At this point, there really aren't any changes and the few changes we see are very subtle.

Mary Claire is still hanging on to life. The hospice people say this could be because she is waiting for someone. Our mom perhaps, since everyone else has already been here. But we cannot bring Mom in to see MC with the way that MC is now. Perhaps she is simply scared to die. We don’t know. What we do know is that it hurts to see her this way. Even Mike, who we thought would never feel this way, seems to have reached that point.

And so we wait. Julia has all the funeral arrangements made. She’s picked out a plot at the local cemetery in Rockport and bought it for Mary Claire. She’s talked to the funeral home. She’s also made arrangements with a local restaurant that was a favorite of MC and Mike for a reception after the funeral Mass. Jane is writing her obituary. I am picking out the music and I have my children working on picking out the readings for the funeral Mass.

Jane and I have our system down now. Since we are giving Mary Claire the maximum dose of morphine every hour now, we are taking alternate days to be in charge of giving her medicine. Which is essential, as I’ve discovered it really is difficult emotionally giving her this much morphine every hour. One side fact: when we open a new bottle of morphine, we tint it with blue food coloring so that we can tell if the dose begins to run out of her mouth when we give it to her.

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