FIL’s health is declining rapidly and he is being sucked in by the terrible-ness of his ALS in distressing ways. ALS usually only affects muscular function, leaving the afflicted fully aware but unable to control body movement. Rarely though, it also can have an effect on brain function and will cause frontal lobe dementia. There are indications (nothing empirically proven) that ALS with a psychological dimension has a much faster progression. This is what FIL has. He is already on a feeding tube as he is unable to swallow. You can not understand his speech. He will be getting a breathing apparatus sometime within the next few weeks as well as a special type of vest that will help him clear the secretions in his lungs since he is no longer able to cough on his own. He shuffles around since he doesn’t seem able to really pick up his feet properly to walk anymore. And he has mood swings. He gets frustrated and angry easily (understandably) but he will also randomly giggle at inappropriate things. He doesn’t seem to grasp what is happening to him. We had to fight with him to get him to stop working. MIL had to hide his keys so he wouldn’t go driving off somewhere. She’s going through the process to be named his guardian.
Thanksgiving was bittersweet.
There were 12 of us total. My Mom, The Zen Master, Princess Punk, The Peach and me, plus The Zen Master’s sister (we’ll just refer to her as SIL), her three kids aged 4, 10 and 12 (I think?), MIL and FIL. Oh and The Boy (Princess Punk’s boyfriend) was there as well.
We made WAY too much food. A 22lb turkey, stuffing, gravy, spinach soup, maple pecan sweet potatoes, cornbread pudding, brussel sprouts, a veritable vat of macaroni and cheese and fresh-made rolls plus 4 pies for dessert (2 pumpkin an apple and a pecan). Princess Punk and My Mom made the turkey, Princess Punk made the apple pie and I did pretty much everything else. It was quite the spread.
And we all got to sit together at the table as a family. FIL sat with us even though he couldn’t eat, and he enjoyed the time with us, especially with all his grandkids together in one place. This was likely to be his last Thanksgiving. MIL was angry. Not at anyone in particular, just “stages of grief” kind of anger at the unfairness of it all. It was a blessing to all be together. I did miss my own father a bit though.
Anyway. This was all to lead in to MIL’s Facebook post this afternoon
As my Beloved and I face our ultimate challenge, I share a prayer with family and friends given to the Life Force in whatever form your perception takes. I ask those who are willing to say the words when they think of us, or read them once aloud as you find them. As I say them, I think of those of you facing similar challenges. You are in my heart daily.