She always comes to Colorado for Christmas. This year she was more excited than ever to come. She had a hard year. In April, she experienced a flood in her first-floor condo due to hurricane- force winds and rain. She moved out as the condo was restored. She stayed with a neighbor and supervised the 6-month project of rebuilding her beautiful home of 30 years. Her first night back, she fell moving some items and hit her legs.  My brother took her to the hospital to get x-rays of her sore limbs. According to the doctors, she had no broken bones, but rather a soft tissue injury with a bone bruise. Pain medications were prescribed and off she went to continue her active life at 91 years old. She continued to drive, go to the arcade to gamble, play cards, and be with her friends. She continued to cook for herself, entertain her grandkids, invest in the stock market, go to the store, Christmas shop and pack for her trip to Colorado for the holidays. 

Once here, she enjoyed the Christmas festivities baking, cooking, and loving on each of her grandchildren, their spouses and her seven great grandkids. On December 27, I went into her room. She was embarrassed because the bed was wet. Due to the pain in her legs, she could not get up.  When I tried to get her out of bed, she screamed in pain, started to hyperventilate and complained of chest pain. I called 911 and the heroic first responders arrived quickly. She was taken to the ER and a cardiac work-up ensued including a chest CT scan to rule out a pulmonary embolism.  After she was treated for chest pain, I insisted she get an MRI of her legs. It turns out she had two microfractures in both legs. So, from December 3 when she fell, to December 27 she was ambulating with a walker putting weight on broken legs making the pain unbearable. After several days in the hospital and another couple of weeks in a rehabilitation facility with the goal of getting her strong enough to get her back to Florida, her leg pain escalated. We learned later that the chest CT scan that was done in the ER showed bone cancer in her spine. This information was a game changer. She is now in hospice care in my home per her wishes. 

Caring for my mother, I am finding a deeper understanding of what it means to love someone completely.  I am experiencing the Divine, moment by moment. When she is awake, we have breathtaking end-of-life conversations, that are holy and sacred. Thank God she is heaven-minded and at peace. This cherished time together is a gift and taking care of her is my joy and delight. I will have no regrets as I am living her hallowed legacy of love and family. This is my sacred honor and duty. We should all be so blessed.