Dad continues to be content and at peace. He and Mom fill their days with walks around the hospice grounds (at least while the weather holds), reading the paper, and visits with friends. He's starting to have more trouble with nausea (brought on, he believes, by the buildup of creatinine in his blood, a waste product his kidneys are no longer able to filter out at a normal rate), which has a negative effect on his appetite despite the anti-nausea medication they give him.
My husband Daniel has started to spruce up our guest bedroom, as Mom will be doing much less international travel and much more visiting her kids and grandkids here in St. Paul. Last night as I laid in bed, I started to think about how nice it will be to have her around so much.
Then I thought about us gathered around our dining room table, and the chasm of the empty chair beside her. I wondered who will carve the Thanksgiving turkey, who will help me answer all the science questions in Trivial Pursuit, who Teagan will call when she doesn't believe my reassurances that she won't die from a scratch on her finger or knee.
Then I had to stop thinking about those things, because my pillow was getting soggy.