imagewhen my Dad had liver cancer and dying I went up and stayed with him and Mom as much as I could in the last 2 months of his life. From his bed you could see down their quarter mile long driveway, and see when someone was driving up their driveway. When he saw someone coming he would get out of bed, get dressed, and go sit in the living room and chat with his visitor until they left and then go back to bed. The whole process was very tiring and I and Mom both tried to talk him into staying in bed while people visited him, but he refused. I wrote in my journal, “it seems that the last thing to die in a person is their dignity”. It seems like their desire to be treated with dignity goes up exponentially with age and frailness, but our tendency is to treat them as a child as they become more needy of help. Patty and I went up to stay with my Mom and help take care of her while she recuperates from her hip surgery. She tends to violate the rules set for her on what she can do and not do in her stage of recovery, and my observation is that she does not like getting bossed around or talked down to by medical people or by family, not even a little bit. My conclusion for myself in my treatment of her is that her sense of dignity is worth more than her phisical health, and that she will not be around much longer so I need to be very careful how I talk to and treat her no matter how much she might try my patience. Mom is a bit of a burden right now, and has caused some strain in family relationships as we figure out how to take care of her, but if anybody has earned the right to be treated with utmost respect at this stage in her life, my Mom has.

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