January 24-25, 2010. Seven years ago.

CaringBridge Blog.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 24, 2010 9:30 AM, EST

Laura has been in bed since Friday, January 15, sleeping comfortably most of the time. Often she is aware of what is going on around her and what is being said to her. She will open her eyes and try to say something if she hears me tell Anne Mei to practice and she doesn’t hear the violin or cello soon thereafter, or if the practice does not meet her standards.

Dear Aunt Laura,

Did I ever tell you that you are my clementine? The first time I met you, when you and Uncle Ken came to visit my parents’ old house on the hill in Frederick during the holidays, you brought a little crate of them. It was a perfect, simple gift, and I loved it. I’d never seen or tasted a clementine before, and now whenever I do, I think of you. But you are in my thoughts more than that. I love you, and all your family, and I am sending that your way daily.

Love. Katie Ryan

MONDAY, JANUARY 25, 2010 11:03 AM, EST

Laura has started to decline even more. They have had to increase her pain medication substantially.


Entries in the CaringBridge blog became more and more sporadic as Laura declined during the month of January 2010.  During the afternoon of Sunday, January 24, after I had written the morning entry, Laura started to hold her hand to her forehead and to groan in pain.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I had to call and get permission from the hospice nurse to start administering morphine, and to get the right dosage. It took about two hours from the time that Laura started grimacing and pointing to her head to the time that hospice called with permission and instructions. It was a weekend. Also, the practical nurse and I had been admonished early in Laura’s hospice because she had told me it was ok to give Laura morphine. The powers-that-be wanted to hold up on morphine until nothing else worked. So, that Sunday I did what I was told and waited for permission. The pain subsided once I could start giving her morphine through a dropper inserted between her gum and cheek.

We received many messages from family and friends through CaringBridge.  They gave Laura much comfort and joy.  I continued to read them to her because I knew she was still aware of what was going on around her.  This one from my niece Katie Ryan is one of my favorites.  I gave Katie a clementine when we met at the Women’s March on Philadelphia last Saturday.


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