The Beginning of the End – Hospice
Although I wasn’t present when this took place, I trust the source, John’s wife K.
John and K were out for a drive one day and without realizing it, K drove by the local hospice. John got her attention and pointed back at the hospice, K was taken aback, but asked John if he wanted to go there, and John said yes. So, they went and toured the hospice and as with most hospices, they were impressed.
That night John and K sat down and discussed the hospice. It was only a few weeks earlier that they had made the decision to let nature take its course. No more treating the cancer, they would only manage the pain. And now John was ready for hospice. John had accepted the fact that he was approaching his last days of pain and suffering and that he was going to see Jesus.
So the arrangements were made, and John went to hospice. When K informed me, my fears of hospitals returned. My biggest fear was the unknown. After all, hospice is basically a portal to heaven; a waiting room if you will. But it was John’s choice, so I had to accept it.
A hospice angel is a person who takes care of the terminally ill, they genuinely care about their patients, and the treat their charges with love and respect. A hospice angel does not know from day-to-day which of their patients will survive another day. And yet they come to work each day, smiling, greeting everyone and taking care of business. In my humble opinion, a hospice angel has a heart as big as the state of Alaska. My love and respect to you all.
OK, back to John. When John went into hospice, the first weeks were relatively easy-going. He slept a lot, listened to music and chatted with his visitors. We could go out side into the courtyard, or into the lounge or just chat in his room
It was during his time in hospice that the “wink” really came into play. One night while I was visiting, John was drifting in and out of his cognitive range. K was sitting on the bed up by his shoulders, and I was at the foot of the bed rubbing his feet. For a moment John drifted out, and he look down at me, between his feet and stared at me like I was total stranger. I said nothing, just watched, and slowly John came back. He looked over at K and winked and smiled. Then he returned his gaze to me, and ever so slowly, the biggest smile of recognition came across his face. John was present.
One afternoon John made me cry. We were in the lounge and a worker from Animal Control came into the lounge. He was in his city provided uniform, and John was friends with anyone in uniform. While the three of us were getting acquainted, John introduced me to our new friend. He said “this is my best friend Bob, he visits me all the time.” John had so many friend, but at that moment in time, I was number one. Tears welled up in my eyes, I was so blessed to know this fire fighting Christian, and he calls me his best friend. Amazing.
Next time the Epilogue.