Worst Cruise Ever

Thank you so much for your kind comments and prayers. They have truly been lifting us up. Mom and I have been at St. Joe’s since last Friday. I’ve attached a picture of our little cabin with my bed tucked under the window. The view beyond is of Forest Lawn and I can see the steeple of the chapel where the memorial services for both Mom’s parents and her brother John were held. Their resting places are just out of view behind the tree line and somehow I find that comforting…..(though before she quit talking much, Mom and I joked that this is the absolutely the worst cruise ever and the activities director should definitely be fired.)

She has declined precipitously from the side effects of radiation. We are all in shock at how rapidly her rdeath is approaching. Last week she was independent at home, in treatment and hopeful for a cure. Her oncologist told me last night that they are shocked as well but he feels as things stand, she has days to perhaps weeks. To me it feels more like hours to days as her breathing and cognition have been changing rapidly. 

As of yesterday morning the hospital was pressuring us about discharge plans but I hope they will just let us stay here peacefully from here on out. Mom emphatically stated that she doesn’t was to go back to her beloved Woodstock home and I want to honor that wish. 

I feel very badly that so much of my time the past few days has been spent on the phone trying to line up a place for us to go instead of just being able to be present with Mom. The bureaucracy of our medical system is a terrible, terrible thing…but the incredible care and compassion the nursing staff, nursing assistants, and everyone has shown towards us has been amazing. I am deeply grateful to them and find it miraculous that they can do their jobs with such grace in spite of the relentless, unnecessary, and largely meaningless pressures they face from the cruelly broken system they must work within. 

Thank you for reading these words. It makes me feel so much less alone to know that people are thinking of us with love. Please keep us in your prayers. 



P.S. For those of you that knew our very special furry boy Theo…He died peacefully at home yesterday surrounded by his Daddy, Uncle Adam and Dr. Jennifer Douthwaite from Mockingbird Mobile Veterinary Service. 

12 thoughts on “Worst Cruise Ever

  1. As a daughter, a mother of furbabies, and a nurse, your raw, honest words have gone straight to my heart. What you are going through is so unbelievably difficult and could tear down a lesser woman. Yet, there you are riding the waves on absolutely the worst cruise ever with grace, strength, and an open heart. Your parents story will continue on in the amazing person they created. I wish I could pay you back for all the kindness you showed me in college by being there to handle the endless bureaucratic barrage while you spend your time with your mom. Your description of a nurse’s job is the best I’ve ever seen…. likely because you are writing it while in the trenches, so to speak. I am glad that the nurses and other medical staff have been a comfort. It is caring for people like you and your mom that sustains nurses when the pressure and stress are closing in. I will send prayers to join the others and add a special one for little Theo as I know how I have felt the loss of each of my own furbabies. May there be some moments of warmth and peace for you and your mother…and the whole family. Hearts & Hugs (a saying that my daughter “invented”) Kim
    PS. I’m with you guys. The activities director needs to be fired.


  2. Holly such a hard year for you. My prayers have been with you since your precious Dad passed away. And now to lose a mother so soon — such a strong woman you have become in order to handle it all. Such a sad time when we are celebrating a new birth in Bethlehem. My love and my prayers stay with you and your beloved Mom and lift your spirits. May God give you peace.


  3. Holly, find strength in all the love being sent your way by many friends you know and so many friends you’ve never even met. You are special and in our prayers always.


  4. Holly, you have gone through so much loss lately, surely there is Peace and Joy in your future. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers. Peace to you.


  5. I find that view somewhat comforting, as if it’s an open door and her loved ones are waiting just beyond to greet her. Prayers for a peaceful passing, Holly.


  6. Holly, my heart breaks for you and your family. I’m sending prayers and love to you and your mom. Spending time with your mom at this time is the greatest gift and honor you give her. I hope that you both find peace during this time. With love, Paula


  7. Dearest Holly. You are not alone. May you feel surrounded by the love and prayers and support of all your friends and family. Wishing I could wrap up and send you a long, quiet hug. Love, Brenda


  8. Holly, at this time of year and reading your words I am asking God to be with you with comfort and love. You had a lot of pain this year, however, you have the most beautiful memories and were so blessed with wonderful parents. You were so truly loved. And know those on here love you!!!


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