Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Lord Taketh Away . . .

Well, I'm sad to say that my ex-father-in-law passed away at 1:00 a.m. this morning. I'm relieved for the family but my heart breaks for them also. It was hard for me to sit and watch this man struggle to take a breath. He had a horrible night last Friday and was transferred to the local Hospice facility so as to have 24 hour care. The family has been camped out there ever since. Saturday evening, I sat with the family for over seven hours. As long as I promised to sit and watch him breathe, the family agreed to try to get a little bit of sleep on the couches that were provided. So, I sat and watched. On Sunday, I brought lunch to them. I knew that they would not leave and that they needed to eat something substantial (besides the cakes and snacks that they had brought from home). Yesterday, I brought lunch to them again. And at that time, the doctors had predicted that he would pass at any moment. So, I made a plate for each of them, took it into the room and made them eat. And it's a good thing, because all of them refused to leave his room, afraid that he would pass at any second. They knew it was inevitable, but they each wanted to be there to see him take his last breath. I can't blame them. I'm sure I'd feel the same.

So, I just want to take a moment and thank the Hospice team at the Covenant Hospice facility here in town. The nurses were so caring and kind. They took care of the entire family as if they WERE family. It takes a very special person to work there. All patients who enter the facility are terminal. It's got to be hard . . . but a pure blessing, none the less.

Well, in the time that I spent at the Covenant Hospice facility, I saw a need. Ok, I saw several needs. But the first, and most obvious is the need for a refrigerator for the families. Many, many families camp out in this facility, spending the last few moments of life with someone special. When I brought meals to the facility, I noticed that there was no place to store it. I mean, I could bring it in warm, but if they couldn't eat it at that moment or if there were left overs, there was no refrigerator for the family to use. So, I decided that something needed to be done about this. I requested to speak with the director/manager. I asked her if it would be ok if I made the refrigerator "my project." She said absolutely. She said that they really needed one, but just didn't have the funds right now. So, my ex-mother-in-law overheard me speaking with the director. And when I returned to the room, she said that she wanted to help. She said that she would request that friends and family donate to this fund in lieu of flowers. And so here starts the ball rolling . . .Hospice has even said that they would put a placard on the refrigerator that reads, "In Memory of . . ." with my ex-father-in-law's name. How nice and special. His memory will live on. I'm excited and hope that we will be able to help in some small way.

Please continue to pray for this family. It's a tough situation and I can't imagine what they are feeling.

Thanks for reading and for listening . . .

3 comments:

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

That's a great idea. Leave it to a wonderful person like you to pick up on such a basic need and get it addressed in such a loving way!

At A Hen's Pace said...

I'm so sorry to hear of this family's loss--and yours. You're all in my prayers right now.

And the refrigerator--a relatively small thing, but what a big difference that will make for families in crisis situations, for years to come!

Jeanne

Anonymous said...

even though he was not my most favorite person in the world....please pass along my condolences....even though they do not know me. They are in my thoughts and prayers in this difficult time. T