Dad was home with me for 5 days with hospice services before he went into a facility. After a rocky transition from the hospital to the house, he had one really good day - he was clear headed and cooperative, had his sense of humor back. We played a couple games of cribbage. He made a list of Legos he wanted to get for my son. We listened to music and sang along.
It was a great day. But I almost missed it. I had read all the materials about how the dying usually rally for a couple days to take care of business before slipping away. But what I saw was a man who was extremely week, but making plans for the next couple months. He wanted a wheelchair for going out on errands. He wanted to renew his driver's license. He wanted to talk about longer term in home care. All I could think was, "How long will my life be on hold? How long will I need to be here, doing what I know is right, but being away from my family? What will we do when school lets out for the summer? How is this going to work?"
Thankfully I was journalling a lot those days. And I was able to remember and revisit those good moments and deal with my guilt for not truly savoring them, for not recognizing my last chance to really enjoy my father.
I thought "Finish" was going to be the right word for 2012, but I have decided to switch to "SAVOR." I want to be more intentional about moments. I tend to live in the past or the future and lose track of the moment. I don't want to wish my life away like that. I don't want to miss other precious pieces of life because I'm focused on what's next.