31. From Nursing Home to Hospice Unit


It was Sunday morning when the phone call came. The phone call that changed the direction of my next week. I was getting ready for church when the phone rang and I answered. Darla told me that Mother was running fever, was very weak, and seemed to be ‘going down hill quickly’. She told me that when news of Mother’s situation spread to the staff around the nursing home, they all began to come to Mother’s room when to tell her goodbye when they got off work. So many of them loved her. I knew I needed to come.

These types of events rarely occur at a convenient time. That has been our experience. When this call came, my car was broken and waiting for repair. We only had Rick’s pickup for transportation. But God’s grace is sufficient for our needs in times of crisis. I went on to church, and talked to my pastor and other friends about Mother. My pastor, knowing that we had only one working vehicle offered to let us borrow his pickup. God is gracious. That pickup was God’s Provision which enabled me to be by my mother’s side. Another God wink.

It was decided that I would take Rick’s pickup to Abilene, That way we could return our pastor’s pickup when our car was repaired. About 2:00 p.m. I left my home to drive to Abilene. After traveling about 5 miles my cell phone rang. It was Darla. With the sound of panic in her voice, she asked me where I was. I told her that I had just left home. She said that Mother was doing worse, that she seemed to be ’seeing things’, that her breathing was vey shallow, and to “Please Hurry”!

What I did next I do not recommend under any circumstance to anyone. I hurried. Rick’s pickup has a powerful V8 engine. I turned on the emergency flashers, set the cruise control on 90 mph, and drove to Abilene. That was an amazing trip. I drove right past highway patrol troopers and it was like I was invisible. No one tried to stop me. I tried to go faster, but somehow I could not make the pickup accelerate higher than 90. I felt like God was saying to me, “Deborah, you don’t need to go any faster.” God was Present with me as I drove.

When I arrived at the nursing home, Mother’s breathing had improved somewhat and Darla was calmer. However, it was obvious to me and everyone else that these were Mother’s last days, perhaps last hours. After conferring with Mother’s hospice nurse, we made the decision to transport her to the Hospice unit at Hendrick Hospital right away. Mother left the nursing home never to return.

Tomorrow: Once again, the feeding tube.

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