I want to start off by saying that for those of you who have been trying to figure out the meaning of the title for my last post “men,” you can stop troubling yourselves. It was an accident pure and simple. I have no memory of the word that I was trying to write but I remember that I started to put a title in, realized I didn’t know what I wanted it to be, and decided I would come back to it after I finished writing the post. Then of course by the end of the post I was tired and weepy and hit ‘publish’ without going back to the title. Oops.
Now for the important stuff. Although he is still in the hospital at CTCA, Tate’s care has officially changed to hospice care. That means that the goal now is comfort. They stopped the antibiotics and removed the NG tube. Today we picked a hospice facility for him to be moved to called The Arc. It is just a few miles from O’Hare airport and it is a lovely facility.
Up until three days ago, Tate was able to talk a bit. That evening he had this beautiful hour or so where he was quite lucid, able to talk, laugh and even crack jokes a little. His room was filled with family and friends and he was holding court. At one point toward the end of that hour he said, “I have a million hands on me.”
The next day he was mostly unresponsive. He was in pain and agitated in the morning so the nurse gave him Ativan which we think knocked him out for most of the day. Then yesterday he was more alert. He couldn’t really speak but he tried to mouth some words and managed a ‘yeah’ or a ‘no’ when asked a question. And although it wasn’t a full smile anymore, he was able to half smile when things came up that made him happy.
Today he has not opened his eyes. We are told that he can hear everything so we continue to read him every email, letter, text etc. that we receive including the comments on this blog. I know he is listening and feels the overwhelming love that you are all sending him. I know that.
People have been driving and flying in to visit him and say goodbye. I know that whether to do so or not is a hard decision. I truly think it is a personal choice that everyone has to make (and most people don’t have the option at all). Whatever you choose is okay. It is okay with us and I am sure that it is okay with Tate. No one planned for this. No one thought it would end anywhere near this soon and no one thought it would end in Illinois (no offensive to Illinois or CTCA – everyone here has been amazing and we are eternally grateful.) This just wasn’t supposed to happen. None of it.
Our hearts are breaking. Our bodies are tired and hurting. But this does not compare to what Tate is going through so the best we can do is comfort him, love him, and let him know that it is okay to find peace.