Monday, April 6, 2009


***Updated 1pm Tuesday afternoon

I took the last shift at the hospital tonight.....
I wanted to quietly hang out with my Auntie for awhile.

As the machine pumped sharp bursts of air into her chest....she moved her mouth a bit as if to talk to me. She also made eye contact with me whenever she was awake but........ there was no response in her muscles as I held her hand. At this point she has had atleast two strokes so her movement is very limited. She is no longer reaching to remove the tube in her throat.

But it was so good to be there alone.....just to relax and hold her hand......and mostly I sang to her.....quietly so as not to disturb her......
I don't mean to sound dramatic, but the only song that kept coming to mind was the one I've sang for several funerals. And if I couldn't get the words out I hummed:
"Why should I feel discouraged. Why should the shadows come? Why should my heart feel lonely and long for heaven and home? When Jesus is my portion....a constant friend is He. His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me......"

When I'd sing her heartrate would go up to almost 90.....and when she was asleep for a minute or two, it would rest in the upper 70s. I was hoping the singing wasn't disturbing her....but she definitely was responding somehow.
So I made sure to let her rest again. I stood there rubbing her fingers. They were plump with all of the fluids they have given her.....I know she'd find it amusing that her crooked, little arthritic fingers were almost straight!
Man, I'd give anything to hear her laugh again.

So I tried to say funny things here and there......but mostly
I kept saying..."It's can rest now. Love you."

And she'd close her eyes again.

Tomorrow they will unhook the ventilator and wait for her to breathe on her own. The doctors have predicted that she will not last more than a few days.** (they decided to wait a few days before removing the breathing assistance. I'm glad since I feel like she was really 'there' last night.......she'll have a few more days to get stronger before they make another decision about the ventilator)

This will be a tough week. As if Easter week wasn't already beautiful my tears anticipate more than one resurrection...... I'm so thankful that she has a Home to go to soon.
Her body will be whole again and she can see Mac (Uncle Dick), her big burly hubby.

But my heart aches with a tangible groan for all those who feel 'left behind'.....and confused by this loss. I'm longing for wisdom and extra compassion as I talk to various family members.

But what would please Auntie Kay more than anything is that we will be together on Easter. Annually, the Easter Bbq at my parent's house branches out with over 50 people each year.
So whether she is still in the hospital or not, our family will be together.

If you're reading this, then I know we've been in your thoughts.
Thank you, thank you.


Maritez said...

God really granted you BOTH a special gift with that time you had with her...and what beautiful words to sing to her. You're right, Jesus does watch over you and there is no reason to be discouraged.

He has your Auntie in His loving, almighty hold and lift up now and when that ventilator is turned off. The future she has is great...glorifying the Lord beside the man she loved so much! It's hard to find joy when we know we'll miss our dear ones so much, but with Jesus, there IS joy in death.

Hugs to you friend

MommyDesiree said...

I have been bathing you, and your family in my prayers Nik.

That song would bring peace to any ones soul I think. What a blessing that she has such a gifted songbird in her ear as Her creator is beckoning her...He shows us His love in so many way...


Sonya said...

Prayers and hugs for you and your family. Death is a difficult thing that we all are touched by in one way or another. The support and love of your family is beautiful and will keep you strong. hugs