A Whole Piece of Pumpkin Pie

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Julie with Brad’s Dad, Tarrell Hatch 96 y/o

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Five days ago, Tuesday,  we decided to stop Julie’s TPN, IV nutrition.  She was getting more sick, having more abdominal pain, becoming more confused and more weak.  We didn’t think the TPN was helping her anymore, and could eventually make things worse for her.  We would just have to see how well she ate and drank, to know how much longer she would live.

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Julie’s brother Steve Hobbs

Three days ago, Thursday, Julie still wasn’t drinking much, and eating almost nothing.  That day, it became apparent that on her current course she would not survive long, maybe a week.  It really isn’t possible to say how long anyone will live on hospice.  There are so many variables, and so much variation in when people are ready to let go.  Still, we suspected the end was near.  I called our children to prepare them.  That night she was so afraid, sick and in a panic despite lots of medication throughout the day.   I gave her a different anxiety medication and afterward she slept soundly for a long time.

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Sunset walk with Noah, Oct 2011

Two days ago, Friday.  Julie woke very upset and sick again and in panic and anguish.  Then after she got up and dressed and into the living room in her chair, their was an unexpected change.  The rest of the day she was happy, didn’t seem to be afraid, no more panic, much less of saying “I’m sick”, and overall she was more alert, talkative and she started eating.

Friday evening our adult children started showing up.  Julie was talkative, fun and positive with them.  It was amazing.  She got tired early and went to bed around 6 PM, but then around 8 PM, she asked me to get her up and take her out for a drive.  We were still waiting for some of our kids to arrive, but she was determined to get out, so I got her ready again and in the car.

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Three generations of ladies, Apr 2016, Grandma Joy Hobbs, Julie Hobbs Hatch, Heidi Hatch

We drove to Baskin Robins for Ice-cream, and the whole drive she kept talking.  She was having a good time for the first time in a very long time.  She was talking about the things that she was seeing, or thought she was seeing, and telling me a lot of random things, but there was no pain, fear or anxiety in her voice.  She and I were having a legitimate good time.  After getting ice-cream we drove around a little more and she talked more while eating her favorite, Nutty Coconut ice-cream.  When I suggested we go back home to see our kids who would be there any moment, she said, “What do you want to do that for, I just want to keep doing this and be with you.”

We did go home though to see our children, and the rest of that night, and yesterday, and today were much the same.  Some occasional reminders that she was sick or uncomfortable, a few tears, but mostly just smiles and fun.

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Jonny MTC drop off, May 2013

I gathered everyone this morning for breakfast and a brief visit about our plans for the day with mom.  Just as I finished my speech, and we were going to go eat, Julie interrupted and surprised us with a little speech.  This was quickly recorded in Hannah’s Journal as follows:

Brad gathered everyone this morning before breakfast to have a short visit. He emotionally thanked us all for coming and sacrificing to visit our Mom. We prayed over the food and then Julie suddenly asked, “Does anybody have any questions for me of why I’m sitting here in this chair and not doing anything?” Julie then cried, “I always wanted to live. I always wanted to be around and watch you have children. Teach my grandchildren about me. Don’t just forget about me. Teach them about who I was. I don’t want you to forget about me. I know that there will be people there to greet me. I’ll see you guys often, though you may not see me.”

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Cool Mom, Sept 2010

There was much more said throughout the day today, but it was such a happy day.  There was sadness and tears at times, but mostly mirth, smiles and laughter.  I am not sure what to make of it all.  It was a miraculous change.  The hospice nurse had told me about “a rally” that sometimes occurs just before the very end.  It seemed more like a victory.

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Feb 2009, a year after initial diagnosis, Talking to Christopher about playing with the camera, then age 3

I know that Julie will die.  I don’t know when.  I think we will be OK.  I think she will remain happy until then and beyond.  For now she is smiling and eating again, at least a little more.  Tonight she even finished off a whole piece of pumpkin pie.

9 thoughts on “A Whole Piece of Pumpkin Pie

  1. Thank you Brad so much for posting this. I love you and Julie so much. This is yet another miraculous intervention of a loving Heavenly Father. I love Him for giving her this day. Perhaps it was the Lord letting you/us feel His love and for letting her express her feelings and love yet once again. Love you lots. HIs plan is miraculous and it is real. God Bless.

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  2. Thank you for sharing. I’m crying tears of joy for Julie. When I spoke with her recently I asked about family time. She expressed with sadness that she wasn’t enjoying much because of her pain and fatigue. I am so thankful the Lord blessed her with this day to enjoy with her sweetheart and family.

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  3. Dear Brad, how I loved this blog posting about Julie and her miraculous change of spirit! I sure do love her and your awesome family.

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  4. Dear Brad & family,
    We are so glad to know Julie is more at peace and you had a happy Sunday together. We have been out of town this past week so are grateful for your blog that helps to keep us up to date.
    Knowing Julie has smiles to share with you all is wonderful news. We will continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

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  5. Brad and Family, Lilly Ann and I are praying that each of you are being blessed with a sense of peace, comfort and hope that comes through the Atonement of our Savior. What a remarkable and special, wife, mother, grandmother, daughter and sister you have been blessed with. We send you all our love from Draper. Dirk and Lilly Ann

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  6. Oh how happy I was to read that Julie ate a whole slice of pumpkin pie! It feels like a few minutes of pure joy as we know how Julie loves pie! She is such a champion as she travels through this earthly trial! Her love of family & life are such an inspiration to me! It reminds me of the very most important things in life!
    I continue to pray for a miracle & I also pray for understanding. I pray for peace from her anxiety & fear!
    I will pray for more happy times like eating an entire slice of pie & precious time with you & Her children!
    Every day is such a blessing to all of who think of her so often & sincerely maintain hope that we may be such an inspiration to others as we negotiate our own trials!
    My continued love & prayers, Dear Julie! You will always be my hero & never ever be forgotten!
    Celia

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  7. My dear friend Julie. We’ve known each other since we were 5 years old. You’ve been such a huge part in my life. We use to spend so much time in the play house in your back yard as little girls and grew up to talk on the phone when our first babies were born.
    You have been such an amazing role model throughout your entire life and are teaching us daily to appreciate what is given us.
    I’m going to miss you so very much. I love you sweet friend.

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