Please donate to help me fly to Kentucky for Maggie’s funeral on Friday, then to New York on Saturday to see Ann Coulter speak at Homocon, then home to Maryland on Sunday. (I bought my Homocon ticket in August — it’s a coincidence that the two dates are not only in sequence but also when I am able to travel. The reason I can go to the funeral on short notice is that I already had care lined up for my father for Homocon.) I also have to pay someone to look after my father 24/7 while I am away. My nephew is the most devoted, reliable and cheapest person I can find for the job. He’s working his way through college and cannot afford to work for free because “good karma” turns out not to be a form of legal tender that the bank accepts to make his student loan payments. I’d have to pay someone from an agency two or three times what I’m paying him. The total I need to raise is at least $2,100 $2,000 $1980 $1960. I bless and appreciate every donation, including the gifts of prayers and good thoughts — may your donations return to you multiplied at least ten-fold by the prospering power of the universe.
Also, yes, I really am working on developing my career and other streams of income. It’s a longer trip than most people have because I am coming back from death’s door myself while caring for a series of dying loved ones over the last 12 years.
Updated, Wed., 9/22/2010, 7: 33 am EDT:
If you are wrestling with end-of-life care decisions, or you are a planner and want an inside view to assist you in creating your durable healthcare power-of-attorney so you can let your loved ones know how to handle your end-of-life care if you can’t, here is the timeline of my posts about Maggie’s end-of-life care:
Mon., 8/29: Prayer request for Maggie Byrd Explanation of who Maggie Byrd is, including a photo of her caring for my late life partner, Margaret, when Margaret was dying in 2004.
Thurs., 9/2: Just a closer walk with Thee Update on Maggie and YouTube video of Patsy Cline singing, “Just a Closer Walk with Thee.”
Fri., 9/3: Maggie Byrd update,’O Happy Day’ I give four rules for getting through the darkest situations victoriously, plus a YouTube video of a gospel choir singing, “O Happy Day.”
Sun., 9/5: Maggie Byrd, cancer and the decision between hospice and acute care You are told that doctors will explain all your end-of-life care decisions, but because a lot of people can’t understand the information, are in denial about a loved one dying — or dying themselves — and everyone can get very angry, this actually is a time of medical abandonment.
Wed., 9/8: Maggie update 9-8-10 My brother flew out to spend a day with Maggie over the Labor Day weekend while she was hospitalized for internal bleeding due to lesions in her esophagus and stomach.
Sun., 9/12: Maggie is back at the Markey Cancer Center YouTube video of Patsy Cline singing, “Life’s Railway to Heaven”; after getting stabilized and discharged from the hospital, Maggie and her sister and brother didn’t even make it out of Lexington before someone at the hospital noticed a test showing her platelets were dangerously low and called her back for more care.
Tues., 9/14: I just spoke with Maggie Symptoms of dying, how to talk to the dying when they are having hallucinations, more on the decision between acute care and hospice care.
Tues., 9/14: ‘Love is watching someone die’: I explain what you are doing when you attend a dying loved one. I also link a video and post by a palliative care doctor, who connects the music of an indie rock song to the experience of dying. It is comforting and uplifting.
Tues., 9/14: Waking up is hard to do I link a parody of the song, “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do,” about how hard it is to come out of anesthesia.
Tues., 9/14: Breathe: the nurse anesthetist’s prayer I link a parody of the song, “Dream, Dream, Dream,” by the same group that sings, “Waking Up Is Hard to Do.” Both are beautifully done, on point, poignant and funny.
Thurs., 9/16: Maggie passed the point of no return yesterday: I explain the symptoms that told me Maggie’s soul had turned from fighting to live to a determination to get going to heaven. This is NOT anything like a request for assisted suicide. I also explain how to help dying loved ones cope with the hallucinations common at the very end of life.
Sun., 9/19: Final vigil for Maggie: I explain Maggie’s decisions about a feeding tube, CPR and intubation to a breathing machine.
Sun., 9/19: Maggie has gone home: This includes a YouTube video of Dolly Parton singing, “In My Tennessee Mountain Home.” Maggie was the daughter of a coal miner and an illiterate mother, the oldest of 10 children.