The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

March 2, 2013

In Sickness and In Health, Part II: One step at a time into her decline



He’s not kidding himself. He knows what this means. Judy was allowed to be put in hospice care because, for her, the end is near. He’ll be crushed when she breathes that last breath. But he says he’s ready for her suffering to end, and ready for whatever adventure lies ahead.

“When you go through a difficulty like this, you want to see meaning in it. You begin to realize how much help she and I have gotten in the last nine years. I am a more aware, more appreciative person now. More aware of what this journey has meant.

“I’m pretty much over trying to control her life. I go over there and I’m ready to accept whatever she is today. I’m prepared for her death. … I’m sad I see our relationship becoming less and less weekly. She’ll sleep more, eat less, get weaker. That’s kind of the road ahead. I know there will be challenges ahead. But hey, bring ’em on.”

And every day, Jim still goes to eat lunch with her at Pathstone.

During a visit one day a few weeks ago, Jim sat next to Judy as he always does to help her eat. He sat patiently, listening to her talk about the pheasants and peacocks roaming around the room, and watching her talk to a stranger about growing up in St. Paul.

When she no longer wanted any mashed potatoes, she let him know.

And then he casually slid the plate in front of him and finished what was left of her lunch.

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