Kelly here. It's been a while since the last post, so I thought everyone might appreciate an update. Jeff's condition is unchanged, so the good news is that he has not gotten any worse. He still requires substantial assistance to move anything but his arms and and his head. He prefers to sleep most of the time. However, when he is awake he is generally lucid and conversant. However, he is slow to formulate his thoughts and will sometimes wander off-topic, so visiting with him requires lots of energy and persistence on Jeff's part and lots of patience on the part of others.
He is still able to eat--mostly creamy soups and ice cream or shakes, however he doesn't have much of an appetite. He lies in bed most of the time--sitting in a chair has proven to be too much work and ultimately too uncomfortable.
Jeff has had lots of visitors, cards, and letters. I visit him two or three times a day and generally try to work from his room via wireless internet when I am not in the office. The kids get to visit him everyday, too. Last night was Finn's turn for a one-on-one visit. As soon as we walked in the room, Finn lit up and said, "Da Da." From the beginning, Finn has been a real Daddy's Boy. When Jeff was at home, they had a nightly bedtime ritual where Jeff would lay in bed and Finn would crawl all over him giving him hugs and kisses. Jeff would sing to him and they would laugh. If Finn did not get this special time with Jeff before bed he would either not go to sleep or would wake up in the middle of the night. So, Finn's "Daddy Time" became a must. Now, as little as he is, Finn knows something is different and he misses Jeff's presence at home. Last night, Jack slept on Jeff's side of the bed in our room. Finn woke up extra early this morning and I brought him into bed with me in an effort to get him back to sleep. In the dark and the shadows of the room, Finn could only see that Jeff's side of the bed was occupied, and again, he was instantly alert and eager to play, and as he climbed onto a sleeping Jack, yelled "Da Da" as if for a moment thinking it was all just a bad dream and Daddy was back at home in his bed where Finn always expects him to be.
But despite everything that has changed since Jeff went into hospice, much remains the same. Life goes on and swirls around him. The kids started school, Regan started soccer ("Go Owls!"), Jack is joining Cub Scouts, and Aubrey is cheerleading again this year. I'm so grateful that the kids have been able to follow their routines and that we've been able to keep things as normal as possible for them.
In the meantime, I have to apologize for being woefully behind on returning phone calls and on writing Thank Yous. I'll do my best to get back to everyone. Please know that we appreciate everything everyone is doing for us! Also, I need to let everyone know that we found a new nanny to job-share with our regular nanny, Lauren, so between them (and the Murphys) our child care is covered. Jen is a nanny with a culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu. She is the perfect complement to our other nanny, Lauren, who lost her own mother to cancer when she was nine years old. The kids love them both and they are the absolute Dream Team for us!
Finally, and on a happier note, my paralegal, Liz, (who is also one of my best friends) and I both became aunts on the same day this week! Liz's sister, Amanda, gave birth to a baby girl and Jeff's sister, Michelle, gave birth to a baby boy within three hours of each other on September 11th! Congratulations to both of them!
I'll try to post another update soon. Until then . . .
Warm Regards to All!