Passing On to Be With Her Beloved
At 2am, Bob and I received a phone call from the nursing home where Bob's mother, Geneva, resides. They didn't think she was going to make it through the night and thought that we should get there as soon as we could. Exhausted, Bob and I left the children in the care of our oldest daughter, Kathleen, and drove the hour to the nursing home. It was a quiet and somber trip.
Geneva has had Alzheimer's for about 6 years now. Just last week, she celebrated her 88th birthday, just a mere whisper of the vibrant woman she used to be.
She has been slipping in and out of a coma for the last 12 hours or so and we expect her to pass sometime today - although, knowing Geneva as I do, she may just continue to be the stubborn ol' coot that she has always been and not go out without a fight. And boy is she fighting. She is struggling with every breath she takes and her blood pressure is dropping. She is not responsive to our touch or talking to her. But - she is still alive. Amazing.
We said a prayer for her and told her that Ken, her beloved husband of 52 years, and Bob's father, was waiting for her to help him with the gardening and that it was time for her to go home. Bob is being brave and stoic through this difficult time. I don't know how he does it. He is an only child and this has all fallen on his shoulders in addition to the hardship of still being out of work since his layoff last September.
I felt inclined to write a poem for my mother-in-law, Geneva, on this sad day.
IF WORDS COULD BRING A TWINKLE BACK
By: Mary Susan Vaughn
to my Mother-in-Law, Geneva
May 21, 2009
If hugs could bring you back to us
And kisses bring a smile
We'd smother you with lots of love
We'd go that extra mile
If words could bring a twinkle back
to your eyes so far away
We'd talk and sing about your life
We'd read to you and pray
If holding your hand and touching your cheek
could bring back the memories gone by
We'd do all these things and much more for you
We'd give it our best prayerful try
But your mind is in a distant place
Your soul on angel's wings
Your spirit floats on memories
Your voice no longer sings
You've lived a life so full of love
You've lived a life that's good
You dedicated your life to family
You did all that you should
So fly above the clouds so high
Feel the breeze upon your face
Welcome Angels at your door
Bow down to God's full Grace
Your spirit lives within us all
Your joy and laughter too
Soon eyes will get their twinkle back
But ours will be deep blue
Thank you all for your prayers.
May 22, 2009:
Geneva passed away peacefully at 2:30 a.m. this morning, May 22, 2009. Through the tears Bob and I agreed that we could hear his father, Ken, in heaven saying "What the hell took you so long woman? ... What's your name?" Of course, Geneva replies "Poot-n-tane, ask me again and I'll tell you the same." And together they kissed and embraced each other, smiling, and then ...
Ken grabbed a boob and Geneva said "Ol Ken, stop that."
all the while Geneva laughed at Ken's silly jokes. At least now he has her home with him - together forevermore.
"We love you Mom & Dad. Take good care of each other until we meet again."
Bobby & Susan