Since finding out about Kathleen’s terminal diagnosis, I have made it my mission to spend every moment that I can with her. The most beautiful part of it all is doing it with Rebecca.
A road trip, a beautiful visit as we drive, laughter and stories shared and the arrival at the hospital where we are greeted by Kathleen‘s beautiful smile.
I love that every time we go, Kathleen has tasks for us. Either something she needs brought in, something that she needs done while we’re there or an adventure that she wants to embark on throughout the hospital. And we are always happy to oblige.
Our visit usually starts with fixing her bed, changing her sheets and adjusting her pillows. She then will ask for us to try a delicious treat that someone has brought in, water her flowers, heat up something or simply tell her about our day. She will then share about the company that she has had and be very specific, right down to what they brought in, what day they came and an update on their family . She has such an incredible memory, and never forgets a thing.
Yesterday when we went in, we took Auntie Kay for her dialysis where she goes every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 1-5pm. Imagine this, such a huge task and she just does it! Oh how I laughed as we drove in as Auntie Kay just says it how it is! I think we were meant to be sisters and so glad she gave me one in Rebecca. We get her set up for the day and head off to see Kathleen.
We walked mere steps away to go visit Kathleen. We are greeted by Kathleen’s mom who thanks us for coming ‘it’s always easier to leave knowing you two are here to look after her!’ she shared. She then told of her and Kathleen’s dads experience earlier in the week getting hit by a car as they walked across the street!!!! Imagine! It knocked them both to the ground and he got a concussion. She claims she is ‘just fine’ in fact she isn’t going to the doctor till next Tuesday, a week after the incident. The strength of this family never ceases to amaze me.
When we arrive, Kathleen had a very specific goal for us. She had asked me to water flowers, which I did, and then displayed them up high so that she could see them. She then asked for me to put them down low and then put them on the bed, I was confused, but complied because I knew there was a reason. She then asked us to find her ‘Rusk, chocolate and pink thing!’ Now you can imagine we scramble to find what she so clearly needs, but we have no idea what it is but look anyway. When we finally discover what it was, she asked for all of it to be on the bed so she could take a picture. It was all items that she had received from Michelle V the day before and she wanted a picture likely to send to her to thank her for coming in for her special visit.
Once the picture was complete, she asked for a wheelchair and we were going on a tour. I fixed her hair and I learned about dark brown dry shampoo that I never knew existed. She grabs her makeup bag and we let her know that we will wait for her in the room to do her make up, and then will go. She had no time for that. “I’ll do it as we go, let’s just go!”
So, as I am pushing her down the hallways, Rebecca leading the way and she is applying mascara without a mirror, drawing with her eyebrow pencil and lip gloss! By the time we arrive at our destination, she is looking glam!
We met Clark at a secret location in the hospital that we never knew existed. The walls were covered with Oilers from the 80s, it was quiet, calm and peaceful, a real hidden gem.
Her daughter Deanna and her boyfriend Kieran join us and pictures ensue. I love that Kathleen never says no to a picture, but knows exactly what she wants and would insist we unlock the wheelchair so that she could turn it in the direction that she wanted it for the picture. She had very specific pictures she wanted and they turned out beautiful! We can never get enough pictures. It was so nice to see Ronda and Heather came later too.
Love the conversation between Deanna and Kathleen as Deanna commented on the beautiful color of Kathleen’s eyes and the comparison of the shape of their nails. Kathleen looking at Deanna and memorizing every inch, so proud of her and hopeful for more.
This day felt different, Kathleen seems tired. Her heart, her smile, her positivity ever present and her body tired.
I will miss these treasured days but as I told Rebecca last night, I will live with no regrets and I’m grateful for this time.
We took Auntie Kay to visit Kathleen after dialysis and these two spoke to eachother without saying a word. A special bond they share that only they understand. Two incredible women who’s strength, persistence and spirit is admirable. Warriors!
So sad to be so close to saying goodbye and so eternally grateful for the grace, loving, learning and laughs along the way.
I love you Kathleen! Soul sisters, graffiti girls, adventure seekers, always willing to ride shotgun and lipstick wearers forever!!! 💜
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