Friday, December 28, 2012

The last days

5:01 p.m. Today's project was to spend time with Steve as he rests in his room at Raincross assisted living senior center. He returned last night on a Hospice transport from Magnolia Rehab skilled nursing facility, after failing his third swallowing test yesterday morning. The children and I had agreed that he should undergo a second five-day round of IV antibiotics to defeat his severe pneumonia, along with IV nutrient. Then if he failed to be able to swallow, we would carry out  their dad's wishes, a Do Not Resuscitate order and permitting no extreme measures, like a ventilator or  feeding tube, to be used. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a (NLT) reminds us:

For everything there is a season, and a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die.

We love births, but it's the other end of life that troubles us, doesn't it? As an unsaved young (and not-so-young) girl, I would wonder, "Why do people die? Isn't that what doctors and hospitals are for? I just couldn't see the point. But an awesome 1980 encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ changed my heart and mind! Simply put, the blinders came off. So instead of automatically thinking, "What a waste!" I see the the dying process as opportunity to learn how believers go in peace to be with the Lord.

God also stirs hearts toward service to others.

Our family has received an astounding number of expressions of love, whether face-to-face, by phone, text message, email or Facebook. A precious young mom took a few minutes out of her busy, hectic day to text,

"Hi Dana, I just wanted to tell you that I am praying for you. If you need anything at all, (she and her husband) are here for you! Please don't hesitate to ask! I love you, Dana!"

After a very lovely and loving visit with Steve's siblings, the Charter Hospice medi-van came to move Steve back  "home" to his room. As an example of all of the support we've had, my son-in-law and his dad had removed the queen-sized bed from Steve's room before the hospital bed and oxygen equipment were brought in earlier in the day. The process was so speedy, comfortable, and efficient, that Steve was not disrupted at all.

The hospice aides and Raincross caregivers made sure all was in order, so I left to have a meeting at home with a representative of the mortuary I've chosen on recommendation of Pastor Jeff, who will be officiating at Steve's memorial service. my older daughter was there to give input on the services we will and won't need.In the meantime, two nephews and a niece from Orange County came to see their Uncle Steve. Steve is never alone, because Jesus is with him on his passage  into eternity; but he has the human companionship that God created to uplift, warm, and cheer us.

As this evening's watch closes for me, I'll leave my love for the night in the capable hands of caregivers who know and love him, but above all, in the tender, yet all-powerful arms of Jesus.

1 comment:

  1. So concerned and praying also. Yes our LORD is our caregiver.