… of God’s gifts and perfect timing … part three
We brought Amanda home from the hospital on Wednesday, October 8th. Ted and I believe the hospital staff knew how sick she was but were afraid to say too much. The pulmonary doctor avoided eye contact with me and seemed to be speaking cautiously although he did say that with the condition her lungs were in , he was sure she’d be back in the hospital with breathing issues again … and maybe again … until …. And he didn’t finish his sentence. Ted recalls one nurse a bit teary eyed when we left.
At home, Amanda needed oxygen so we had to string oxygen tubing from the oxygen machine to her nose. We were always moving tubing so she could wheel her chair around. She wasn’t wheeling much though. Sitting was uncomfortable in her chair because she had taken on so much body fluid from I.V.’s so she was pretty bloated. She was also too tired and weak to wheel much anyway. I would put a big blanket on the family room chair and sit her there, semi-reclined. She slept most of the time or watched TV. I could get her to eat when I offered it. Mostly, she didn’t ask for much. And she slept. Or she would start trying to wheel off somewhere, and I would ask where she was going, and she’d get confused and stop. By Friday, she wasn’t even asking to get in her wheelchair.
On Friday night, Ted’s dad stopped by. Amanda was propped up in the family room chair. It meant that Grandpa had to get on his knees to talk to Amanda. She wanted a hug. And he talked to her and hugged her. He would stand up to leave, then get down on his knees to hug her again. You can see from the photos how weak she was.
But Amanda sure knew how to get her hugs. 🙂 I think grandpa got on his knees and hugged her four times
When Ted and I put Amanda to bed Friday night, she was so weak and confused and her color was bad – we both thought she wouldn’t make it through the night. Thanks to a gift – we were all able to sleep. My friend Clara loaned me a baby monitor she had used with her grandkids. Because our bedrooms were so far apart, Ted and I could sleep in our bed while listening to Amanda in her bed on the opposite end of the house.
And then it was Saturday.
Saturday, Amanda spent the day propped up in the family room chair. She slept. She ate or drank when I offered it. And she would open her eyes when Ted and I talked to her.
Now we don’t believe in ghosts, and we have no explanation for this. But, Ted’s mom had passed away just five months ago. Amanda and grandma were buddies.
We were sad of course to lose Ted’s mom to heaven’s glory but she had lived a long brave life. Both of us had shared the same private thought – that if Amanda were to die, we were comforted that her Grandma would be there on the other side to take her hand and show her the way – without fear.
Ted had stopped to talk to Amanda in her chair, and upon rousing her from her sleep, Amanda looked around and blurted out, “Grandma, where am I?”
Maybe grandma was already talking to Amanda. We don’t know. But it was comforting to imagine grandma helping.
Later in the afternoon, I knelt down to talk to Amanda and she whispered something to me. “What?” I asked her. “I’m done” she whispered. “You’re done?” I repeated back to her. “What are you done with?” I asked. And she whispered back, “…with everything.”
We put Amanda to bed.
We went to bed.
All was quiet until I heard her via the baby moniter at 3a.m. She was restless and talking. I went in to her room and asked what she wanted. “A drink” she replied. “Do you want diet Coke?” I asked her. It was her favorite. I brought her a cup with a straw and had to hold her up so she could take a sip. She took a second sip. Then she started struggling and I asked if she wanted to get up. “Yes,” she murmured and before I could pick her up to place her in her wheelchair, she collapsed on her pillow.
And she was gone.
She was done. With everything. She grabbed grandma’s hand and leaped into heaven.
If we hadn’t borrowed the baby monitor, we probably would have found her dead in her bed in the morning. The monitor was a gift – and we were with her when she passed.
We were comforted by the mysterious assistance of Grandma.
We were comforted by Amanda’s admission that she ‘was done’.
We could have lost her when she first collapsed 2 weeks prior but had the chance to be with her nonstop ‘til the end.
She chose her own day. The 8th was Ted’s birthday; the 10th was sister Jill’s birthday. Amanda went home to heaven on the 12th. Nice of her not to shadow the birthdays of her dad and sister – and to even keep the day in logical succession: 8, 10, 12.
God’s perfect timing.
And so many gifts continued to follow …
… to be continued …