Well, hello there. Happy New Year. I hope everyone's holidays were merry and bright. Ours were convoluted and emotional -- it turns out that switching around your holiday traditions to catch your dying father's best time of the day in order to make memories watching old family movies and opening gifts together doesn't really work, because he no longer has a best time of day. I probably would have held it together better if my brother's girlfriend had held it together better, but them's the breaks.
We soldiered on with our annual holiday open house (and it was truly wonderful and diverting to see so many friends), the Christmas eve dinner, the Christmas day brunch, etc., and managed pretty well, all things considering. Then Dad fell four times in three days (none serious, thank goodness) and starting waking up in the middle of the night thinking it was breakfast time.
There is now a baby gate across my parents' staircase (score one for the pack rat daughter whose children have not required baby gates for 10 years or so) to prevent any midnight tumbles.
Dad's highest priority at this point (were he of sound enough mind to express it) is staying out of the hospital. He was of sound enough mind about two weeks ago to reject the idea of running in to HUP for some outpatient tests that may or may not reveal a possible lurking infection.
Which we all interpret as, he's done. No more interventions and treatments, aside from his anti-rejection meds and what he needs to stay comfortable. No more medical speculation. His liver is failing, and he is going to die soon. But he is going to die comfortably, at home. Hospice care started last week and, as long as he doesn't break a hip, we'll be able to keep him where he wants to be, for as long as it takes.
This shit is hard, but we're doing our best.