Friday, January 24, 2014

NOVEMBER WAS A BLUR

I realize that I haven't posted since my anniversary post, and believe me, a lot has happened since then.

Way back in September when I was in Texas, I called my sister, Gayle, who was in the hospital.  We talked for awhile and although she sounded breathless, she told me she was getting better.  I was quite happy.  I was in Austin and she was in the Dallas area.  As I look back, I wished I had purchased a ticket to fly there before going home.

In early, November I spoke with my sister, Linda, who told me Gayle wasn't getting better.  And then on November 12th, we talked on the phone and we were trying to determine what to do.  The next day she called and told me that she and two of my other sisters were flying into Dallas to go to the hospital to see her, as her husband didn't think she was going to leave the hospital.  They decided that whatever happened they were flying home on Monday.  (Gayle had told her husband that she did not want a funeral, but wanted to be cremated)  Allan was out of town and I started looking for flights.  I found one that was leaving in the late afternoon on Thursday and arrived quite late in the evening.  My sisters had been to the hospital and came back to the airport to pick me up.  After grabbing something to eat we headed for a hotel and got into bed around 1 in the morning.  (Note to self:  NEVER AGAIN PUT FOUR OF US IN ONE ROOM--CRAZY!!!!!!)

Got up and ready and headed for the hospital which was only about 15 minutes away.  (Oh, before that changed to TWO ROOMS!)  I was absolutely shocked when I saw my sister.  I would have bet anyone that the woman lying in that bed was not her.  She looked horrible.  She was all puffy.  She was on a ventilator and in a medically induced coma.  (So grateful I talked to her in September)

We talked with her nurse (who was absolutely amazing) and then to her doctor--both of whom did not paint a pretty picture.  Her kidneys were failing and they considered sending her to another hospital for dialysis, but they were concerned she could not handle the transport.  The nurse asked if we wanted her to attempt to wake her from the coma--she told us she had tried earlier that morning but Gayle did not respond.  Normally with the drug they were using, the patient immediately awakes.  The fact she didn't was not a good sign.  We told her we would rather wait until Gayle's husband got there.

We left and headed for lunch.  We talked a lot about the quality of Gayle's life, and I knew I didn't want to watch her continue to suffer.  It is times like this that I am so very grateful for my understanding of the Plan of Salvation.  I do not know how my sisters could watch her without that knowledge.

When we returned to the hospital, Gayle's husband and daughter and granddaughter and grandson (whom I had never met)  arrived.  It was so good to see them. and was nice to have a chance to visit.   (My niece had battled breast cancer during the previous year and it was great to see her doing well.)

We visited up in Gayle's room and then headed to dinner.  I decided to stay down in the lobby so others could have a chance to visit with her.  That gave me an opportunity to help with Gayle's grandson who was too young.  Before we left the hospital we decided to go up and say goodbye to her.  That's when I saw my nephew who had come to the hospital.

Sometime late that night we decided to head back to our hotel.  We got in the car and my brother in law tried to call one of my sisters and then we could see them all running back into the hospital.  Apparently they called to say she was in trouble.  She passed a short time later.

We went up to her room and one of my sisters was having a difficult time and didn't want to leave her.  I'm sure she couldn't understand why I was at peace.  I shared with her my feelings that lying on that bed was just her body--that her spirit was gone and she was no longer in pain.  Yes, I was sorry to lose her, but I was so grateful to know she was no longer miserable.  When I hugged my brother in law and he said, "What am I going to do now?", my heart just broke.  Denise is a strong young lady, but she loved her mama, and I know this is going to be very hard for her.

We spent the next day visiting with my niece and her family getting ready for the memorial for her.  Here is a picture of her taken  on her wedding day back in 1968.  She is with Helen (Les's wife).



On Sunday I had the chance to have breakfast with my great-grandson and his parents.  I was so grateful that they made the drive over to our hotel to pick me up so we could have some time together.  It was a much needed lift.


My sisters and I drove out to the community where the memorial was going to be held.  I was so impressed with how they threw it together in such a short time and it was a lovely day.   My sister loved crafts and she did so many wonderful things.  It was fun to see pictures of her handiwork.  I loved the little bassinet cover she had made for her granddaughter.   My grand niece had worked hard on putting pictures together to display at her memorial.



This is one of my favorite pictures of Jaclyn (my grand niece and Gayle's husband).


I was so grateful to have a chance at the the memorial to meet Darrell's brother and sisters and other family members.  I knew he was going to be well taken care of.



It was hard to leave and say goodbye, but I am grateful for facebook and telephones so we can stay in touch.



It was a hard few days, but as always, I am grateful for family and especially grateful for the Plan of Salvation.

It still seems impossible to me that she is gone.  She would have celebrated her 64th birthday just a few days later.  I sure miss her.