|We searched online but couldn’t find the name of this grass or weed. This is commonly found along the highways and country roads in this and other areas of Australia.|
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Many of our readers have written kindly inquiring as to how my sister Susan is doing after I posted about her failing health while she is living in a nursing home in Las Vegas, Nevada.
|Sunny day at the beach.|
This week, her daughter Kely and my sister Julie have been visiting her each day sorting out all of her papers, end-of-life directives, and making her single room in the nursing home look more friendly by hanging some of her favorite pictures, family collages, and photos.
Digging through her storage space, they found many of her favorite things, many of which she’s been asking about for months. She moved into this 10-bed nursing facility many months ago, which provides exceptional care when it was impossible for her to continue to live in an assisted living facility.
|The boat launch at Holloways Beach leading to a river that leads to the sea. That’s not an animal hanging from the tree, just an unusual root clump.|
At this point, she is totally bedridden and has been placed into palliative/hospice care with no hope for improvement or recovery. How long she will last is unknown at this point and seems to us, is predicated by how long she is willing to hang on.
Finally, her facility allowed masked, gloved, and face-shielded visitors. They have not had a single case of COVID-19. It has given me great comfort to know Kely and Julie could be with her now. The isolation all these months have been unbearable for her.
|This sign painted on the paved road at the boat launch says, “Be croc wise in croc country.” It would be rather terrifying to encounter a croc while launching a boat into the water.|
Sadly, her memory is failing by the hour and she can only recall snippets of her long-ago life and little, if anything, about recent events. Dementia/Alzheimer’s has set in gradually over the years, but has become more evident these past few months.
Over the years of world travel, I have called her every week to touch base and share wonderful travel stories with her. As a former world traveler herself, we often laughed over the irony of the same places we visited and the stories that followed.
|Unknown variety of flowers.|
It was about a month ago, when I called she could hardly speak and had little cognizance of who I was. This prompted Kely and Julie to visit her once again from their respective homes in San Diego and Los Angeles, California.
The last time I saw Susan was in December 2019 when Tom and I visited Las Vegas for almost two weeks during which we stayed with son Richard and I visited her almost every day, making the two-hour round-trip drive from Henderson to North Las Vegas, Nevada.
|The pile of huge rocks appeared to have been placed at the edge of the rainforest to keep people out.|
During this week, Kely and Julie organized everything she needs to be prepared for life’s end and make her all the more comfortable. At this point, there’s no benefit from any additional medical care. She’s taking numerous medications that keep her pain free and as comfortable as possible.
Of course, I wish I could be with her now. Even if she doesn’t recall that I’ve called her, I will continue to call every few days, just to say, “I love you.” She sleeps most of the day and only awakens for short periods to take a few bites of food. She’s at a point now, where she cannot lift a spoon or fork to her mouth.
|An attractive beachfront house as we drove along the beach road.|
As I write this today, many of you will relate to this sorrowful situation. Many of us have been through this in the past with loved ones and sadly will face it again as we age and care for aging parents, siblings, and other family members.
The process of working our way through this most challenging time in our history along with dealing with the sorrow of losing beloved family members and friends is heart-wrenching for all of us.
|This root laden tree is unusual, reminding us of Banyan trees in Hawaii although with smaller roots.|
May we all find comfort in the love and companionship we share with our loved ones and with one another during these times and into the future. Thank you, dear readers, for your compassion and concern.
Photo from one year ago today, July 10, 2019:
|As we drove from Connemara, Ireland to the small town of Roundstone, with a population of 214, we were impressed by the design of the colorful properties on the main road. For more photos, please click here.|