Thursday, March 10, 2011

Upate on Dad,  and Hana's concert
It’s been a busy week so far but I did manage to get to the hospice on Tuesday for about an hour. Dad was not doing too well. He was having more difficulty breathing and the oxygen didn’t seem to help. Karen the student nurse gave him some fentanyl which is supposed to act in about 5 minutes but only lasts about 15 minutes. After 45 minutes of talking to him about work and any other thing that would come to my mind, he was still not feeling better so I asked the nurse to come and give him some more. He can have the fentanyl every 15 minutes as needed. She also said that she gave him another type of med. which should help but his breathing is definitely getting more laboured.

On Tuesday night, the family had a conference called which we did by skype-to-phone. It was good to have all 5 of us (mom and the 4 children) talking to each other at the same time. We are hardly ever in the same place at the same time so this was a long and long overdue conference. We spent an entire 3 hours discussing all the issues we were/are facing, and although we may not agree on every point, we all agreed that we have our parents’ best interests at heart.

Mom was pretty tired by the time the night was over as was I. Robin took her home and I had a shower and went to bed about 11:45pm . I set my clock to alarm at 7am (at least I thought I did), which is at least an hour past the time I am usually awake because I was extremely tired but when the alarm went off, it felt like I had not rested sufficiently. I got up without looking at the clock and got cleaned up. I also have a small watch alarm that goes off at 6:27am (I don’t like to set my alarm minutes in numbers that are divisible by 5, hence 6:27am; don’t even ask!) and by the time I was ready to go downstairs for breakfast, the watch alarm was beeping. I thought “What the heck?” and when I checked my bedside alarm, I had set it for 6:00am not 7:00am. So much for giving myself an extra hour to sleep! Needless to say, yesterday I was tired at work but I didn’t have meetings or workshops so I could relax my brain for a bit.

Auntie Bauline arrived from Toronto yesterday. She was supposed to arrive at 2:30 and would take a taxi to the hospice where I would pick her up. I anticipated that she would be there at about 3:15 so I decided to leave work a bit later so that she would have some alone time with dad before I arrived. I got there at 4:00pm and she was standing at the front entrance with her coat on. I thought she was waiting for me to take her home but she herself had just arrived because her flight was an hour later leaving TO. I spoke to the nurse briefly who said that he did not have a good morning. Sophie had already emailed me with this information as she and Darwin had gone to visit earlier in the day. Dad had a few doses of fentanyl but it did not seem to calm him so they gave him another med. which helps with the anxiety. The combined doses seemed to calm him sufficiently to allow him to sleep a bit.

Auntie Bauline and I went into his room. He was asleep so I woke him because I thought he would be glad to see her. He was. I went to get her some toast and a cup of tea and they visited. I heated up his dinner and he had that although it was not his usual amount. He did have some jello and two small butter tarts. He does enjoy his sweets. I must be like that. My palette can accept sweet, sour and salty things but I don’t like bitter so things like dark chocolate and kariela are not so palatable for me.

I don’t know if I grew a lot since I was a teenager but I remember my family being a lot taller than many of them appear to be now. When I was a child going to DeKendren to visit with Auntie Bauline, Auntie Siloch and Uncle Khemraj, they all looked very tall. Granted that I was a child but over the years, they all seem to have grown down or I grew tall. At 5’7”, I guess I am taller than many Guyanese women but standing next to Auntie Bauline yesterday, I felt like a regular Amazon. It reminds me of when I was approaching adolescence and my family would come to visit and they would ask dad and mom “what are you feeding that girl?” because I was growing so tall. About 10 years ago I was visiting Guyana and I went with Auntie Jean to the market and a little boy came up to me and asked if I was a soldier. I asked why he would ask that and he said that I was tall and walked straight like a soldier. Hmmm... Anyway, I am happy about being taller rather than shorter so I don’t mind if people think I am a soldier or a fearless woman warrior.

I offered Auntie Bauline to stay with me but she is staying with mom for the duration of her 4 day visit. They can go to the hospice together and she’ll be good company for mom for a few days, beside which, I am at work all day so she’d have to get to and from the hospice by cab. My cousin Indi was supposed to come as well but she’ll be coming in about two weeks because of vacation timing and the exorbitant cost of flights during spring break in Ontario. By that time mom will have moved in with me so Indi will stay with us.

Hana's concert
Oh, this is some good stuff. Sahana had her concert last night and the theme was “international” so she wore a really beautiful light mauve langha that I bought for her a few years ago and was obviously way too big for her. She is very tall for a 6 year old – probably in the 80th percentile for her age. She looked so cute in it! I also met her friend Tatiana whose mother Jackie was one of my students about 15 years ago. Jackie wanted to know what I was doing at a concert for K and Gr 1 kids. There must have been nearly 200 K and Gr 1 kids performing.

That was pretty exciting for me in another special way beside my granddaughter being in the concert. I remember when I was a young mother attending Sharm’s first concert in Kindergarten. The entire Kindergarten and Grade 1 consisted of about 28 students. That was the first ever French Immersion group of students in the Fort Garry School Division. I was one of the parents who fought the school board to start a FI program in the division and they made it extremely difficult for us for years – making us pay for bussing when other English school children were being bussed for free and sometimes using monies allocated for libraries for other non-French Immersion programs.

We fought for a school and later for schools, for bussing, for French speaking teachers, for French in other related courses like phys ed. and library and a host of other struggles. So last night it was pretty rewarding to think that the great efforts that a small group of parents made in 1979 has now become just another option for education in the now Pembina Trails School Division. I felt that the battle for my children’s education was worth every bit of effort I put into it for almost 15 years.

Yeah Hana... but don’t be so serious :) :) :) 

Gotta go...
Meeting a colleague soon..

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