Last Sunday Gerald took us down to Cape Girardeau to the hospital to join others there to offer our emotional support to his brother Garry, who had been told his wife needed to have her life support stopped. With great anguish and emotional trauma, Garry did what Ginger had said she wanted under these conditions. And she started breathing on her own. Her daughter Vicki spent the night with Ginger, and by the next day, Ginger even said a word or two to Garry.
He and their son Kerry began making the arrangements to take Ginger home to the farm—just as they had been explaining to her they were trying to accomplish while she was in the nursing home those three months. They secured a hospital bed and hospice was made available to them. They received some training about her care. By Tuesday late, the ambulance took Ginger home. All reports are that Ginger is very happy and peaceful being back at her beloved home, and her family is very happy to have her there. She is communicating some, and everyone feels good that God is in charge of her life now—not artificial support.
My brother Jim was in the hospital waiting more repair or some kind of work done on stints following the surgery done Friday on his 86th birthday. On Monday that work was postponed until the next day to let his kidneys recover more from Friday’s procedure. Tuesday’s phone call said he had the surgery on the stint on his right side of heart but was being kept in the hospital over night following that morning’s work just to be sure all was well. Later he could face what needed to be done of the left side. However, evidently the problems on the left side were more serious than hoped because he still had more chest pains. So yesterday his wife Vivian’s phone call explained that another surgery had worked on his left side. He was supposed to go home today unless I heard differently. His two daughters live locally, and their only son has come down from the quad city area to stay with them and help during this recuperation just as Robert did last fall following the four stints put in at Springfield. So I am relieved that my brother is home where I know he wants to be, and Vivian and their children are there taking care of him.
Other good reports include the local news that the two young girls who were injured in the tragic accident coming home from Evansville are doing good and preparing for their start soon as new high school students. I am sure that they both have much work and pain ahead of them before their recovery is complete. But since one had not even been expected to live (and might have never recovered if she did live), people are so happy and excited about progress that one doctor described as a miracle. It has been satisfying to know of the prayers and the concern that our community had shown for these young people as well as for the family who lost their loved one in that accident.
Katherine’s hospital stay at Carbondale, which coincided with mine in Marion, seems to have helped her not only to get over her latest IUT but in other ways also made her stronger. When Gerald and I have gone by, she looked good and was cheerful, the house looked well kept, and things seemed to be going as well as when I was going in to help.
Our long-time neighbor Edith Tanner, whom we had received a message about when we returned home last Sunday, did pass away on Tuesday. And so did Russell Stapleton, our neighbor on the other side of our Pondside Farm house. Our children played with their children, and we know how much they loved their parents. Russ served through terrible times while in service during World War II, but he never complained about it.
Then he and Mildred endured the deaths of their two oldest sons in recent years. I liked seeing the photos of their younger days displayed at the visitation Wednesday night. And I loved the story Bruce Beasley told me as we visited together as our long line moved forward toward the casket. Mildred had told Bruce she knew Russ really loved her because when they were dating, he walked up from Pope County each weekend to stay with his relatives so he could visit her and take her to church. Then he would walk back home to Pope County. Yes, that is certainly proof of true love as was his faithful care of his family and his long years in the coal mines. What their many years of service meant to our community is immeasurable. Russell and Edith were both wonderful neighbors, but both had lived long lives and were no longer healthy or able to do the things they loved. I consider death a wonderful blessing as we age, and I know that both are in a better place experiencing a happiness we cannot even imagine.