Nov 9, 2011

Life In Transition

My dad seems to be transitioning from life to death. 
I am learning this by watching.... as he struggles to get out of bed, agitation by thoughts swimming around in his head and the reading material provided by Hospice. 
Kind of like paint by number.... some patients stay in the lines, others, not so much.
 Dad is a fighter. 
He ain't going down easy. 
He's got a little Ali and Frasier in him.
I keep reading this stuff, so I am prepared for his dying, maybe not. You think you can prepare for this, but you really just follow yourself around and try to stay somewhat coherent.

And you call out to God and read Romans 8 ... and holler up, " I believe, really I do. But right now, I don't feel it... so you better carry me God."
Good thing faith isn't a feeling... I'd be SOL. 

So, Hospice....
It is a gift, a great team of people, nurses that I struggle to pronounce their names, because they are from Haiti and Russia and Jamaica... and they speak in thick ways and their eyes are kind. Silas, the beautiful CNA from Haiti who I thought was 25. He laughed and said in his lovely english, " I am 45."  He is gentle with my dad, and so kind.
It is a caring environment.... with a wonderful cook. 
Yumo, its like Rachel Ray is in the house! 
Only problem is you have to be dying to get in this club.
Yea, that kind of sucks.  
Dang, just when I think my writing is improving and Readers Digest will be calling any day, I write the word suck.... and dang

Below is a letter my mom wrote to the condo they live in. They put notices on the bulletin board to keep people informed.
Who broke a hip, who's colonoscopy went well, who needs a ride to therapy for who knows what. Who died, who might die and the meetings, luncheons, golf and tennis times. Hey, ya gotta have a little fun.
Funny thing,
there is a magnifying glass hanging near this board for those who cant see!

Humor is necessary, especially in times like this. It's my most effective coping mechanism. I would take up drinking and drugging but I have a reputation to uphold. Plus , I don't really enjoy being out of control.
Thanks for understanding.

Here is the letter..... ps, I don't think dad wrote any of this. Some things never change 

Wednesday, 11/9/11

Dear friends; We have moved Carl to Hospice House in Stuart.  I am staying with him night & day but for a couple of hours during the day to refresh and check things at our apt.

We do not anticipate this to be a lengthy stay, nor do we anticipate that Carl will be able to return to the Admiral.  That part is a great pain to me because you have all been so kind and loving to us that I would like him to be at home til the end. It will not be possible and at this point we are not able to accept guests.  Our pastoral people from our church are very attentive and meeting the needs of the day every day.

You all know of our strong faith and our belief in eternity for believers,  that we will not perish but have everlasting life.  I have lost 2 best girl friends this year and a son and son-in-law and parents previously and I can tell you that Heaven is looking better and closer everyday.  We serve an awesome God who loves us more than we have ever loved any of our earthly family.  Carl & I have been richly blessed in our lifetime not because of any good that we have done but because of His grace and mercy to all of His creation.  In spite of our seemingly desperate situation right now we do feel His presence and as His word tells us " He will supply all of our needs, He will never leave us and that as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we will fear no evil for  His rod & His staff will comfort us".  Amen
Although we may not be "HAPPY" with our rather fast loss of the life we shared we do both have a JOY within us because of God's love for us.

Thank you all, over and over again for your constant support and your love. We love you right back.......

Arlene & Carl


  1. Vickie Schindler MoscaNovember 9, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    You are a Strong and Loving Family... Supportive, Nurturing, Caring and Compassionate Not Just Towards Each Other But Towards All Who Are Fortunate Enough To Be Embraced By Your Warm and Loving Spirit. God Is Good and He Is With You Now During This Very Difficult Time as He Will Continue to be Each and Every Day. My Love and Prayers Are With You All, Each and Every Day!

  2. This was beautiful Dale. I have no words at this moment. I'm so sorry.
    So much love to you all.

  3. Dale - thank you for this. I went through the same thing with my dad, and knowing where he was going almost made the pain go completely away. I still miss him so much, but am so happy he is where he belongs. Much love to you and your family. (PS - I think reader's digest will be calling soon - you are an amazing writer - make me laugh and cry within a couple of minutes!) Wendy Baird Gardner

  4. Facing the end of one's earthly pilgrimage is not a melancholy thing for a Christian. It is like preparation for the most exciting journey of all.
    "Getting Ready to Move"
    The owner of the tenement which I have occupied for many years has given notice that he will furnish but little or nothing for repairs. I am advised to be ready to move.
    At first this was not a welcome notice. The surroundings here are in many respects very pleasant, and were it not for the evidence of decay, I should consider the old house good enough. But even a light wind causes it to tremble and totter and all the braces are not sufficient to make it secure. So I am getting ready to move.
    It is strange how quickly one's interest is transferred to the prospective home. I have been consulting maps of the new country and reading descriptions of it's inhabitants. One (11 Cor. 12:2) who visited it has returned, and from him I learn that it is beautiful beyond description-language breaks down in attempting to tell of what he heard while he was there. He says that, in order to make an investment there, he has suffered the loss of all things he owned here, and even rejoices in what others would call a sacrifice.
    Two or three times I have been down by the border of the river that forms the boundary, and have wished myself among the company of those who were singing praises to the King on the other side.
    Many of my friends have moved there. Before leaving they spoke of my coming later. I have seen the smile on their faces as they passed out of sight.
    Often I am asked to make some new investments here, but my answer in every case is " I am getting ready to move. "

    This spirit of expectation is our dear inheritance and right. For the Christian, death is not the dissolution of life but the consummation.


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