A New Body . . . Safe in the Arms of Jesus
The dreaded day, the day for which I have hoped and prayed finally was today. Tom passed very peacefully about four this afternoon. The last several days I have sat by his bed, holding his hand, talking, telling him what's in the news, reading psalms, praying, singing. He has shown no real response since Thursday except for grimacing when he hurt, or having Parkinson type tics because he's not had any meds. One exception: the nurses have been swabbing his mouth with a special mouthwash several times a day and yesterday he wouldn't open his mouth. The nurse said for me to try if I saw an opening anytime during the day. He was like a little boy refusing to take his medicine, clinching his teeth together so I couldn't possibly get anything past his lips.
This morning I drove to the hospital in the most beautiful snow. The flakes were big and fluffy and fell for six or seven hours. In the South, that means people stay home, off the streets. That is, we stay home after we have raided the store shelves of bread, milk, eggs and other essentials. Shopping during one of these grocery store runs can be dangerous to one's health. Anyway, no one came by the room today except the usual hospital staff and two hospice workers about noon. Tom and I were all alone in our little room and I could focus my whole attention on him. It was such a gift to have a day to ourselves. The middle of the afternoon I stretched out on the little sofa, telling him I was right there by him and needed to close my eyes for a few minutes. When I woke up after about 20 minutes, he had quit breathing. I wasn't holding his hand as I had wanted to be, but we were together.
The most beautiful statement was made to me by my precious five year old granddaughter. I went to Tommy's so I could tell the grandchildren about their Paw Paw. After I told them, Meredith crawled up in my lap and said, "Please don't be sad and cry, Maw Maw. Paw Paw's in your heart."
Memorial services will be held later this week or early next (depending on winter weather advisories) at Covenant Presbyterian in Jackson, MS. More about that later.
My love and God's blessings,