Justin and I are like intermittently leaky faucets, twice today we thought she was going to die at that very moment--this tiny problem with breathing she's got going on--and throughout the day we get caught with eyes dripping tears we wipe away quickly.
The last time I went into the kitchen afterward, where Dorothy was talking to Dennis and Ruth. Since she's deaf and her back was to me, I was able to collapse into the camping chair and bury my face in my hands before she noticed my presence.
"How's she doing?" someone asked.
"Justin thinks she might go tonight. We thought that was going to be it just now," I said, and started pulling my socks onto my cold feet.
"How's he taking it?" Ruth asked.
I buried my face again. Dorothy turned around and said, "Are you tired?"
I wiped my eyes and said, "Yeah."
"I'm not tired, I'm just drunk," she said.
She'll be 76 years old soon.
Justin really got to Mark today when he told him she probably only has a day or two, maybe less, to live. Her blood pressure is low, and the numbers are getting closer together (96/74 or something like that) and her breaths are fast but shallow. I said, "Do you think tonight might be it?" He shrugged in possibility and affirmation.
But when we left she was still with us, squeezing hands and saying, "I love you too," to the boys. She's looking at me funny now; maybe she doesn't recognize me anymore.
Mary Lorraine actually spoke sweetly to her, said she hadn't forgotten her but that she's been busy running around (I kicked her out of the living room today because she was talking too loudly on the phone about boys and relationships... today she turned 45.) Toni didn't smile at her and I love her for it, though she still smiles at Dorothy.
Justin and I are going to pack a bag to stay tomorrow, just in case.
Justin is exhausted and would have stayed tonight if Mark had said straight out, "I'd appreciate it if you stayed tonight," but he's learning to take care of himself and he knows that if she makes it through tonight then he needs to be functional tomorrow and tomorrow night. So we're going to get some sleep. Besides, we had to get all our meds and he had to check on some school contacts since he's going to miss a second week. His mom said it was OK to go, though, and she still has the final word.