Friday, December 31, 2010

The Old Soldier really does die

So many think I had done something wonderful.....taking care of Gee at home during his last fight with cancer. Wasn't much of a fight, came home from the Highlands, a rehab center in November and he was gone December 18th. He had decided many weeks before that last appointment with Dr Piperdi he would do no more treatments. He was so weak he had to go to the appointment by ambulance. They all came to say good bye, we all knew it was his last time at the clinic. He was transferring into Hospice.

He was so happy to be home, even ate better for a few days. His sister came from Cleveland to care for him....but he wanted me, let Robin get that....I worked a couple of weeks when he first came home, however it became apparent rather quickly that Ruth and Saul, although very willing, weren't up for the task of his care, and again they weren't me. So I took Family Leave and stayed home.

The routine was the same everyday, cook breakfast, was him up, watch the Judge shows and the price is right. Soon he was sleeping more. If he wasn't sleeping he would lay with his eyes closed. He started taking pain meds more regularly.

His daughters came the first week in December. They came in on a Saturday and he was still talking some. He was eating a bit but not much. They left on Wednesday and he wasn't eating barely talking and   having more pain. We start giving him morphine pills, time released and more effective.

Sonny came on December 14th. Rachel finished the semester and was home. Gee was no longer talking or eating. Drinking very little fluids. A skeleton with skin was all that the cancer had left us. He was on liquid morphine now, he couldn't take the pills any more.

Sonny left on Friday morning. He wanted to stay knowing it would end soon but couldn't bare the thought of watching his father being taken out of the house in a body bag. I slept in the chair in the living room like I had done every night for the past two weeks. I awoke to see Gee gasping for breath....I thought he looked like a fish out of water gulping for air. I gave him his morphine and the haldal  and stroked his hair, telling him we would be okay, he could relax and I knew he had to leave us....his eyes opened and he looked right at me and in an instant he was gone.

Gee's pain was over, he fought so long and so hard. He wished to live long enough to see Rachel in college and he did.

 My pain has just begun. I have never been alone. I have always had someone who took care of me. I never had to worry how I was going to pay the bills, what tomorrow was going to bring, there was always Gee. For 34 years  Gee was there so nothing could hurt us. Now he's gone. Now there is only me....


  1. He will always be with us . . . always. I only need to close my eyes and 'remember' all of those times . . . when he came, truck and all to St. Louis; when Mom and Dad died; when Ryan died; when he was there with his "you still working"? You still paying Social Security? When he walked into Rachel's graduation and so many people there said how glad they were to see him. He was truly bigger than life . . . I am so thankful that you, Clayton, and Rachel shared him with our entire family.

  2. Robin, this comment may make you sadder, but I must tell you this. New Year's Eve is our wedding anniversary. We had a very short courtship which sort of began sometime in the summer of 1958. On Thanksgiving, I proposed to him, and we were married Dec. 31, 1958. I say now that God brought us together -- two people who see so many things alike because our childhoods had many similarities. I was (and am) from Texas, and he is from Mississippi. Life has certainly been interesting.

  3. My mom just told me about your blog. I can feel your saddness about his loss as I read your words, yet in a small way I hope to have a similar experience one day, should I have to lose someone I love. I no longer pray that nothing bad happen to my boys or to my husband, I ask only that if something does have to happen, that I can be there with them and experience the end of their life with them, if it has to happen. It seems that your presence there was exactly what he wanted. How wonderful that you were able to give him that, even to his last breath.