Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Saying goodbye is not always easy

No one ever said saying goodbye would be easy. I remember after the death of one of the residents shortly after I started I stopped bye my parents house and was talking to my mom. I was sharing with her about the death of this resident and how sad I felt. I was crying and saying to my mom, it so sad I will miss them so much. They brought such joy to me and were always so much fun.It was then when the mom wisdom kicked in as usual. She said "Brian, you must remember they are going to a much better place and they are no longer suffering.and remember many of these people have been waiting for the day when they can be with loved ones". (To you moms out there how do you get to be so smart).
Those words have stuck with me and helped me threw the lose of many residents. One especially was very very hard on me.It has been a little over a year and I still think of her often.She was a spry classy lady never a hair out of place and always had makeup on.She had the most charming sense of humor you could ask for. She loved talking of the days she and her husband had gone dancing. Or she would just want to talk about her family or her days as a housewife or working one of her many jobs she did.
I can remember her talking on and on of how funny she always thought Johnny Carson was. Now since she was also a little demented.. (OK maybe more then a little) for several days she read in the paper about him dying(for some reason the paper had not been thrown away) but each time it was new news to her and she would again tell how she loved Johnny laughing and laughing. We too were laughing, yes I admit we do sometimes laugh at them or with them.
One fall day when I came to work I was told she had been rushed to Sioux City with a blood clot in her leg and was very very ill. Doctors did not know if she would return.Well she did return but only to live her final days with the people she new at the nursing home home.
It was by far one of the most stressful weeks I had ever had. Not knowing from day to day if she was going to be there when I got there in the morning. Her family was there around the clock. Each time we went in to do cares we talked to the family. At first my dear friend was able to talk to me when I talked to her.I would always be sure to give her a peck on the forehead and tell her I loved her. Before the end of the shift I would stop bye and see how she was and say good bye not knowing if it was the last time I would see her.My heart ached, knowing that she was going to go home to be with the lord soon but a part of me did not want him to take her yet.Yet I knew I had no control and that she and her family were ready to say good bye I also needed to let her go.
On Friday as I left for the weekend I went into her room told her I loved her and said it's OK Leona you go home now, you go. With tears in my eyes I gave the family hugs too and said I hope it is soon.
Sunday morning with all her family at her side, she sat up in bed( she had not been responding for several days) smiled at all of them as if to say it's OK I going home now. She then took her last breath and was finally at peace.
It took me a long time 1-2 months before I could talk about her without getting the vapors (my term for crying).Even when you know they are in a better place it does not always mean it is easy for us.
Thank You Leona for some very fond memories. I will never forget you.


Beckyb said...

I'm telling you Brian - you are good to those people - they love you!!

Joel said...

Yes, she was a great lady. I miss her too! She always had a smile ready....