My father’s body quit life this evening at 6:27. His spirit now lives in Glory.
Here we are five hours later and I haven’t even approached the emotional part of losing a parent. I can’t guess when the dust will settle enough for me to realize that an important part of my life is gone. So many of you have gone through this; I have never had to, and I’ve always wondered how I’d fare. I’ll let you know.
This won’t be a long post, but I do want to say two things tonight. I cannot find enough words to commend the nurses and doctors at Wesley Long Hospital in Greensboro, NC. Yes, I’ve named the facility because I want you to know how very compassionate they are and how very much I respect their work, not just in the Palliative Care unit, but in every unit of the hospital (and we’ve experienced most of them over the past forty years).
Finally, this. My baby sister, Elizabeth, had some hard commitments in Maryland this morning and wasn’t able to trek south until noon. She desperately wanted to be here in time and it’s easily a seven-hour drive. At the same time, Pop’s lungs were flooding and the doctors had to reduce his fluid intake to ten percent; only enough to carry into him an increasing amount of pain relief medication as was his will. This strategy brought with it an expectation of his living only a couple more hours. Yet, Pop held on…until Elizabeth got here, held his hand, and said three words softly to him. Then he breathed his last.
There were some quiet moments in the room as the nurse monitored Pop’s heart with a stethoscope and nodded what we already knew. A few seconds more, and Elizabeth looked at me. I beamed at her, “How cool is that? He waited for you!” She took a deep breath and replied, “This is NO time to say something POSITIVE !!!”