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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My Mom returned to the hospital this week with congestive heart failure as a result of the pneumonia she continues to battle. While her condition is stable and she is expected to come home, her health continues a slow decline that is appropriate for her age and medical condition. It is still not clear what continues to cause the build up of fluid in her lungs and between her lungs and heart. While the not knowing the cause is frustrating, I spend my time concentrating on what is known -- she is lucid, funny, still headstrong, interested in the world (although death is close now than it was a month ago), and still looking forward to future. As always she continues to be a realist without any sense of bitterness or fatalism.

For Ella, hope is a verb.

I divide my time between work and the hospital. As of this writing, my Mom will remain in the hospital for the remainder of this week and possibly through the weekend. I did photograph her this time because I thought these maybe the last photos I take of her. I will post them later in the week after she has had a chance to see them first.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My comrade and fellow teacher, Frank Rosario sold me his Nikon D100. At the time I planned to spend every weekend out and about taking picutres. However, the situation with my Mom's health is debilitating emotionally and in very odd ways, the stress of caring for her manifests itself in weird little phobias like suddenly not wanting to take pictures in public. I stopped beating myself up about and found ways to keep working and take care of her in the process.
Frank asked me why I didn't photograph my Mom. She doesn't want to be photographed right now because one medications she took to regulate her heart, changed her skin tone and produces hair all over her body. I think this is temporary and when we go on vacation to North Carolina in November, her interest in being photograph will be better.

Monday, August 13, 2007

It was a difficult weekend. My Mom returned home to face new realities. She will need full time nursing care for the rest of her life. This means significant changes in my life and work over the next few months as this new reality takes shape. The alternative is placing her in a nursing home for the rest of her life. She is clear nursing homes are not what she wants.

So we struggle to make it work.