This is the last moment when Shelley rallied (Sunday evening), we laughed together, and spent some really nice time visiting. From then on she slept most of the time, moving in and out of wakefulness, but she never fully engaged again. Photos from Sunday, January 16.
I returned to the hospital Monday afternoon, a bit surprised that Mom had made it through the night. Monday evening I got ready to leave, but when I said good-bye and hugged her, Mom woke up and opened her eyes for a brief moment. I asked if she wanted me to stay and she nodded. So I did. The nurses brought in a cot for me and I dozed off for a few minutes at a time. At 3:45 I woke up, looked over, and went over to the bedside. I said "Mom ... Mom," and shook her lightly. It seemed like she still had a faint pulse in her neck but she'd stopped breathing and I knew she was gone. It hit me like a punch in the gut.
This morning I've been over to her apartment to gather a few things. I made arrangements for cremation, and tomorrow I'll return and gather the rest of her things and deal with the final remains. Today I'm going to spend some time at my dad's on the farm.