Within a few weeks of entering hospice care at our local VA hospital, Ronnie became increasingly difficult for him. He began to rely on his wheelchair more and more. When I came to visit, we went outside so he could smoke, and I pushed him part of the way. As he gained more weight from the lymphedema, pushing him became more difficult.
I’m not sure who made the arrangements, whether it was his social worker, a doctor, or a nurse, but before long Ronnie had a motorized wheelchair. It was such a blessing.
Yes. There were many good things that were part of Ronnie’s last months.
i remember clearly the last day that he was able to go outside to smoke. It was a beautiful cool Saturday morning in November just before Thanksgiving. I took Ronnie outside to an enclosed smoking area, and placed his wheelchair in front of a large window. The sun was shining directly into the window, enabling him to feel it’s warmth. He smoked and talked and laughed. I sat beside my uncle Ronnie, enjoying the specialness of the moment.
When at last I took him back in the building to his room, the nurses and I knew this was it. He was getting weaker and in more and more pain. The decision was made that he needed to go to bed to stay.
His last week began.