She Went on a New Journey

Some days I write from my head. Some days I write from my heart. Today, I write from my heart. I am sad today. Not for myself, but from a loss.

I reconnected with many of my friends and family after my divorce. One, in particular, was more in passing since she was the daughter of my next brother down in line from me. He had divorced her mom and she was living with her. I tried to connect with her as she allowed. Her name was Patty. She had her issues that affected her both physically and mentally. That was not an issue with me. I don’t shy away from those kinds of issues.

The last time I’d seen her was when my brother, her dad, passed away around 2006. She was at the funeral. From then till about a year ago I had lost track of her. The only thing I knew that was going on with her was that her mother had died from cancer. I found out her grandmother, her mom’s mother, had passed on as well. She was living in a double-wide and had a roommate that was a friend of the family and he works at a home for disadvantaged people.

About a year ago she and I reconnected and all seemed well for the moment except she was on dialysis. By November of last year, she messaged me to talk. She expressed to me her problem with dialysis. It seems there was a severe side-effect that left her with terrible bouts of itching after the treatments that sometimes left her scratching till her skin was raw. This might not seem like something, but I’ve had reactions like this, and one time it almost got bad enough I thought I was going into anaphylactic shock. What makes it worse is that the treatment was performed three times a week. That meant for three days out of the week she was in a frenzy with the itching.

She had messaged me to talk about what she was considering. After the doctors had tried other methods of the treatment to no avail she had decided to stop dialysis. I asked her was she able to get on the kidney transplant list. She told me the doctors had told her she was not a viable candidate for a transplant because of other health issues that would put her into kidney failure at a future date. So with that news, they said the only thing she had to look forward to was her demise in about six to eight weeks from the time she stopped treatment.

Armed with this medical information she wanted to ask me what I thought. She’d already asked some friends and they adamantly expressed to her that what she was doing was tantamount to suicide. She was feeling very depressed over this. You see, she had mental issues with depression and other mental disorders, and such nonsense as she was being told only threw her into despair.

I had just written my book on suicide and I knew it was God that armed me to handle this. I explained to her that with all she had been through she had made a medically informed decision no different than someone that decided they didn’t want chemo because of its effects on the body. Being in her right mind she had decided to stop treatment for the same reasons. Her body had backed her into a corner with no way out. So the friends and family should simply take her decision in this light and comfort her during her last days.

But the time kept on going past the six to eight weeks and it went into months with no ill effects. We would talk about it. She said the doctors told her when she started going downhill it would be quick. I went to see her when she was still in fair health and we talked in person. I felt our talks were good and I felt satisfied she was convinced she made the right decision. As a Chaplain, I am obligated to let her make her own decisions and support her. I did tell her I knew where she stood and we agreed she was right with our God.

About the end of June this year she had stopped eating. I went to see her and she had lost almost 75 pounds. She was well over 200 at one time. She never ate again. About two weeks ago she messaged me to call her. I did. She was beginning to not be able to form thoughts. She was able to tell me that she had been talking to her mom who had passed. She told me it was not something she heard in her head. She actually was hearing her mom talk to her. I’ve studied people at the end of life and find this to be common. I then knew she was near the end.

I called yesterday morning and she didn’t answer, but her roommate answered. He had become her caregiver although she had hospice coming in and a local Chaplain as well. He said she was totally incoherent and was doing things as though she was okay. She had tried to get up to go to the bathroom and fell. He had put her back to bed. He also related to me that he could hear her talking to someone, yet no one was there. It was a one-sided conversation to him, but he gathered it was her mom she was talking to. I thanked him for being there for her. He expressed that it was no problem because she and her family had been very good to him when he was in need. At the end of our conversation, I asked him to call me when necessary and it made no difference about the time of day. He agreed.

Then last night at 12:35 my phone rang. I looked at my phone and it said “Patty” was calling. I knew it was him. I hesitated to answer because I knew what was coming. Then I hit the answer button and said hello. Then his voice came on and he said: “she is gone”. My heart sank. He said she had passed away about thirty minutes before. She died peacefully. She knew God. She told me that. I know that she spoke in truth in our conversations.

Please don’t take a single day for granted. We are not guaranteed another one, yet we should look to that end. God has appointed unto all a time to die. After that if we have a right relationship with Him we go to be present before Him. We have already been judged and found innocent through the blood of our Savior Jesus Christ. We have that assurance.

Following are the lyrics of a song my mom would sing in church on certain occasions. Blessed Assurance. This song contains solice I need today.

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long

Perfect submission, perfect delight
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long

Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blest
Watching and waiting, looking above
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long

About Jim

I'm a 72 yr old guy, who had worked in Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune for 28 yrs and now retired as of 31 Dec 16. I've worked in medical records, Health Benefits Department, Billing, the IT department and retired as the Personnel Security Manager for the hospital. I'm a musician and Corvette enthusiast. Yes, I have had two. I traded my second Corvette for a Harley Davidson Fat Boy mid-summer 2019. I've already ridden about seven thousand miles. I'm also searching for a fresh new outlook on life with new spiritual insight among other things. I was ordained a minister on 20190202. I've become certified with the American Chaplaincy Association through Aidan University in June '21. I've found that with the unconditional love of my companion, Libby Rowe life is complete through God. She's a beautiful, vibrant, giving woman who gives her all in everything she puts her mind to do. She and I married on 24 July 2015. She was ordained in February 2022. She has a blog too called Under a Carolina Moon. Give it a visit.
This entry was posted in Christian, Death, Family, Follow God, God's Calling, Health, Hope, Human Touch, Love, Memories, Mental Health, Ponderings, Respect for Life, Sadness, Salvation. Bookmark the permalink.

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