Friday November 25, 2011
Andrew really started to decline today. He spent most of the day sleeping and would occasionally awaken to say hi to whomever was in the room. His room had a constant stream of people coming and going. People coming to say their last goodbyes. It was hard to accept the fact that he spent more time asleep than awake. We knew the end was near. It was also hard to have so many people around. People were very respectful, but each of us wished that we could have individual time with Andrew, or at least as a family. I was never able to spend the night like my mom and sisters did. I was still nursing Sonja so wasn't able to be away from her for long stretches of time. Again, the guilt lay heavy on my heart. Always wishing I could do more or be more.
Thursday November 24, 2011
Thanksgiving Day. Our last Thanksgiving as a family. Our last holiday together as a family. Andrew's good, and long time friend, Siobhan and her husband bought us a Whole Foods Thanksgiving dinner. They brought a table, tablecloth, all the food and lots of beverages. They came in the late afternoon and set up our meal for us in Andrew's room. My whole family was there - my Mom, Dad, sisters, Tyler, kids and Grandpa. We were all dressed up and everyone was in a cheery and festive mood. We were full of smiles and jokes for Andrew. I made sure to take a picture of every person with Andrew. I also made sure to have our friend Daniel take a picture of our family. This picture is above. I'm so glad I did this. Ashley had to work this day but she was able to join us that night after she got off. We were all so happy she was there. I captured a few pictures of them embracing and holding hands. It was beautiful.
It is hard to describe - but there was a very peaceful and joyful spirit in the room. It hung over us and was thick with love and gratitude. I could literally feel it and was moved by its presence. I knew this time was special and it's one of those times in life where you are fully and wholly present. My mind and heart were nowhere else except for that room and that night. At one point during the evening I looked over at Andrew and he was peacefully looking around the room at all of us. He was taking it all in and I'd like to believe that he felt a calm and quiet come over his heart, knowing he was dying with a family full of love for him. He was not alone and he was loved more deeply and wholly than he could have ever asked or wanted.