Monday, April 1, 2013

Daddy's declining health

In August (2012) Daddy celebrated his 92nd birthday and many of us were with him at Missionary Acres to celebrate. His memory has been slowly failing but he still knew his children by name, although he was not able to call his grandchildren by name.

Marianne and her family spent Christmas with Mother & Daddy and noticed a precipitous decline in his health. He was withdrawn and seldom engaged in conversation. As has been their practice for a number of years they traveled to FL early this year, to spend the winter months with Barbara.

His health continued to decline and Hospice began to visit daily to shave and bathe him. The Hospice people have been a tremendous help to Mother and Barbara and a number of them are Jamaican, from towns or villages that Mother is familiar with.

I was able to be with them to celebrate Mother's 91st birthday on Feb 7th and my daughters joined me for a few days. There was only one time in that week when I thought that Daddy actually knew who I was. On the Sunday of that week, there were 17 members of our extended family for dinner, which is not uncommon for our family! Daddy walked into the dining room and when he saw the crowd, he looked at each one and smiled, the most expressive I had seen him that week. When my girls and I were leaving to return to SC, Mother said to Daddy, "this is Brian and these are his beautiful daughters." Daddy looked at them and replied, "yes, they are beautiful!" the most he had spoken that week.

He had been able to get around with his wheeled walker until a week ago, when he was so weak that he collapsed in the bathroom. He has not had the strength to eat and his weight has dropped to the low 100's. Last week Gloria went to FL to be with them and to help Mother and Barbara with his care.

Yesterday morning (Sunday) he was not responsive and Marianne was able to come from CA late last night. This morning his breathing is labored and we expect the Lord to take him home shortly.

In August Mother and Daddy would celebrate their 70th anniversary on his 93rd birthday. A few weeks ago I prayed that the Lord would allow us the privilege of having him with us until then.

On behalf of my siblings, our spouses, and our children, let me express our grateful thanks to God who, for His good pleasure and the glory of His name, saved Daddy and gave him kingdom work to do, and has allowed us to keep him for so many years. We are blessed beyond our worth.

Daddy's life can be summed up in this statement:

He loved the Lord, he loved his wife, he loved his children and grandchildren, and he loved his work.

That is a life that has been well lived!

No comments :