My Uncle's Last Days

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I finally finished this blog that I started almost 2 years ago.

Before you get started reading this blog I want you to know that it is heartfelt and personal and it is about my uncle's last days on this earth. It is also a little long and there are parts that are my own personal beliefs.

On Friday, just before Valentine's day 2011 I received a call from my mom and she told me my uncle was in the hospital because he couldn't breath. That was kind of a shock because he never went to a doctor much less to a hospital. My mom said he got to the point where he couldn't breath and he had his neighbor take him to the emergency room. They weren't sure what was wrong at that point but they started doing X-rays and running tests.

I somehow knew or had a sense at that point that his time was very short. I had had that feeling since about August of 2010. I just kept getting the feeling that his time was short but I didn't know how short. When my mom called my on Friday night I almost knew this would be the end before long.

On Saturday he had a lot more tests run and the doctors found out that he had a lot of fluid on his lungs. That was bad but it could have been a lot worse. The first thought that came to my mind was pnuemonia. I thought if that was the case then they could treat it and he would be ok. My mom said it might be cancer but they were not sure. She started to think even if it was cancer that he could have surgery and get treatments and beat it. She knew he probably wouldn't do that though so she was hoping it was not cancer.

By Sunday, the doctors had ran numerous test still trying to figure out what was causing all of the fluid build up and trying to determine for sure if he had cancer or not. The doctors told him and my mom later that day that it was cancer and it looked like it was too far gone to even consider surgery and they said treatments wouldn't do any good at that point either. The worst case scenario had just come true. It was cancer and it was terminal. The doctors never really said how much time he had left, or at least not that I was ever aware of. My mom called me and told me the news and asked me to call my sister and my nephews so I did. I remember telling one of my nephews that he had cancer and it was terminal and I didn't think he was going to live long and he said ok. I then said to him Happy Valentine's day right. He said yeah right. That was my thought exactly. Somehow I had a feeling that he wasn't going to make it through the following weekend.

Each day that week my mom would call me and give me the latest update on my uncle. Some days she said he seemed to be doing alright and other days she thought he was going to be gone several times. She kept hoping for the best and kept thinking that he would have 6 months to a year to live, at least and maybe even longer. On Wednesday the doctors told him he should be able to go home on Thursday. They said he would need someone to take care of him and wanted to know who that would be. My mom told him he could go to her house and stay with her. He kept telling her and the doctors that he was going back home and he would have the neighbor take care of him. They also mentioned Hospice to him and said he would probably want to get started setting that up as soon as possible. He did not want Hospice but my mom finally convinced him that he needed it to at least pay for the medicine he was going to be needing because it was going to be expensive.

Well, Thursday came and the doctors came in and told him he could go home. He told them he wasn't going anywhere because he was having problems breathing again. So he stayed in the hospital. All through the week my mom said he was swollen and gray and at times his eyes would roll back in his head. It did not look good at all.

All that time, I was not planning on going home that weekend but on Thursday I made the decision that I had to go home. I knew my mom needed me to be there but I was not sure I wanted to watch my uncle die. However, I knew I had to go home. By that time I was hoping I could make it home to see him and I was hoping and praying that my youngest nephew and his fiance could make it as well. My mom, sister, and oldest nephew had all been there during the week and had seen my uncle. It had been a couple of weeks since I had seen him but he hadn't seen my youngest nephew since Christmas.

Friday morning I got up and made a couple of calls to my employers and told them I did not know when I would be back. I told them the situation and I told them I didn't think he was going to make it through the weekend. I packed up my stuff and headed out the door for the 3 hour drive. When I got about half way home I looked at the clock in the car and it said 11:45, just before noon. As clear as could be I know that I know that in my mind or my spirit or somehow that I heard the phrase 24 hours and counting, maybe less. I had pretty much known all week that he would not make it through the weekend and I had felt that it would be sometime Saturday around noon. When that happened it confirmed what I was already feeling. I just kept praying and hoping that I, my nephew, and his fiance would all make it home in time to see my uncle again.
When I got home I went to the hospital but I did not see my mom's vehichle in the parking lot. I thought that was strange but then I thought maybe he went home. I walked into the hospital and went to the room where my uncle was. However, when I got to the room there wasn't anyone there. The room was empty, the bed was made, the TV tray was set, and it looked like no one had ever been there. I wasn't sure what was going on. As I walked out I started to think the worst but expect the best. How could I have not made it home in time. It couldn't be.

I got back in my car and started driving through town not knowing what to think or expect. I was wondering why my mom hadn't called me to let me know what was going on. As I got close to the corner to turn to go to my mom's I thought do I go home or do I go to the funeral home. I knew I wanted to go left and go home but I wasn't sure. If I went right I would be going to the funeral home. When I got to the intersection I had to wait to turn and I looked toward my mom's house. It looked like there were several vehichles there so I headed toward home. I still wasn't sure what to expect when I got there though. I got out of the car and walked in, still expecting the worst but hoping for the best. When I walked in I saw my mom and my uncle sitting there in the recliners. I said hi to both of them and my uncle said hi Shirley. Boy what a sense of relief that was!

I found out he came home just before lunch and that Hospice was there trying to get everything set up and going for him. He was swollen, his feet and ankles were huge, he had a grayish color to his skin, and I knew he was going to have a hard time walking. Things were not looking good. Hospice was there for a while longer getting things set up and giving all of us information about what to expect and what they would do.

After hospice left my mom asked me if I had lunch yet and I said no. She asked my uncle if he wanted anything and he said no so she said let's go get lunch. I said ok. We left to go get lunch and get my uncle some medicine he needed. She said she had to get out for a few minutes. She had been with my uncle at the hospital most of the week and it was getting to be to much. We went and got the medicine and got lunch and talked. She said he would be at her house until the end. She didn't know how she was going to take care of him though and work and a million other things going on in her mind. I told her I didn't know either but she couldn't worry about it and had to take one day at a time. The whole time I was thinking he's not going to make it through the weekend so she didn't need to worry about some of the things she was worrying about. I couldn't tell her though.

We got our lunch and went back home. We got a hamburger for my uncle and I think he tried to eat a few bites of it but he didn't eat much. All of us talked but the tension and uncertainty in the air was high. My uncle told me several times that everything was going to be OK. I kept telling him I know and kept wishing my nephew and his Fiancé would hurry up and get home.

All through the afternoon and evening we had visitors and my uncle was kind of in and out of it. A couple of times he wanted to know where the cord was and told us he needed it. We told him he didn't have a cord because he was at home and he didn't need it any more. He was talking about the IV cord. When he was "with us" he continued to tell us everything was going to be OK. He told me him and Jesus had a talk and everything was going to be fine. I think he thought in his mind that he was going to live, but I'm not sure. I kept telling him I know and he said no really everything is going to be OK. I smiled and shuck my head.

At one point during the evening he was pointing to something on the floor and following it with his finger. I said I see it uncle, even though I didn't see anything. I believe it was an angel that he was seeing and he saw it several times during the evening. I knew the time was getting shorter and I kept texting my sister and nephews telling them the time was short. My uncle got upset once because my mom and I were on our phones. I tried to stay off of it as much as possible but I wanted my nephew to get there. We kept telling my uncle that Andrew and Amanda were on there way and would be there soon.

At another point during the evening my uncle was laying back in the recliner and all of a sudden my mom and I could tell he was not with us anymore. He was talking and laughing harder than we had heard him laugh in a long time. We figured out from the bits and pieces of his talking that he was talking to his brothers and they were building something. We never did figure out what they were building though. After a few minutes he was back in the real world talking to us like nothing happened. My mom asked him if he had a nice trip and he said yes. Stuff like this went on the rest of the evening and he progressively got worse.

Finally, Andrew and Amanda got there and I went out to meet them. I told Andrew he needed to hurry up and get inside if he wanted to see his uncle while he was still alive. I told Amanda I didn't think it would be much longer and I thought he was just waiting for them to get there. We hugged and went inside. My uncle was extremely happy to see both of them. They talked for a few minutes and then my uncle told everyone to get back so we all moved back. We told him everyone was there even though my sister and other nephew were not there. He grabbed a hold of the arms of the recliner and laid back and that was it. We waited a few minutes and my mom checked his pulse and shook her head. We were all in shock and none of us knew what to do. It was just before midnight on Friday night (around 11:30-11:45 PM).

After a few minutes we decided we needed to start making phone calls and letting people know. We told several people that we would let them know if anything happened. Within about an hour we went from having 4 people in our house to having around 20 people there, including the funeral home director. My sister and my nephew made it too. I found out from them and Andrew and Amanda that they didn't get any texts from me. That really ticked me off that when I absolutely needed my texts to be working it wasn't. No wonder I wasn't getting any replies. We had people inside and outside crying and hugging and not knowing what to do. It is nice when you can be outside in February without a coat and be comfortable.

Needless to say, it was a long and sleepless night. The next afternoon we started talking and making the funeral arrangements. It was one of the hardest things we have ever done, especially for my mom. She was the only girl with 4 brothers and this one was the last one to pass away, and the youngest of all of them. She never dreamed she would have to bury her younger brother. We had just lost on of the others about 2 years prior.

Eventually, the arrangements were made and it came time for the funeral. My oldest nephew did the service and he did a great job. My mom was so proud of him, as were the rest of us. Both of my nephews were pall bearers and they said that was the hardest thing they had ever done. They were only 18 and 20 years old. The funeral and graveside service were over and it was time for life to go on. It was so difficult for several months. It didn't seem real. A lot has changed since then and at times we still struggle and doesn't seem real.

It will be 2 years on February 19 and we all miss him!!! My oldest nephew was nominated for court warming king at his college a couple of weeks ago. The game is on February 19. He asked me if I knew what Feb. 19th was and I said I guess not. He told me and I said he would be so proud of you, and I told him I guess you need to win it for him and he agreed. He would have probably been there to watch but he will be watching and cheering from heaven.

We miss you uncle!!!!

I truly do believe my uncle is in heaven and that he was seeing angels and/or Jesus himself. When he told us to get back he knew it was his time and I believe his angels were there to take him home. I'm sure his brothers and other family members were there at the gates of heaven to meet him. I must share the following because I truly believe it and I feel led to do so.

Becoming a Christian

God Loves You!
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

God has a wonderful plan for your life!
I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10b)

Walking Down the "Romans Road" to Salvation . . . .
Because of our sin, we are separated from God.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

The Penalty for our sin is death.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

The penalty for our sin was paid by Jesus Christ!
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

If we repent of our sin, then confess and trust Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will be saved from our sins!
For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13)

...if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9,10)

To receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, pray this prayer:
Lord Jesus, I'm like everyone else - I can't make it through life on my own. I'm imperfect. I'm prone to sin. I have come to realize that there's nothing in the world I can do to make myself acceptable to You. But I know that You have loved me so much that You were willing to submit to the cross and die on my behalf. That's a grace so amazing I cannot understand it; I can only accept it. And I do. I accept Your free gift, and I know that from this moment on, I am saved. I am a child of God. And I give the rest of my life to serving You and experiencing the joy that only You can offer. Fill me now, dear Lord, and raise me to walk in the newness of life. I thank You and praise You! Amen.

Now that you are a "new creation" in Jesus Christ, the road ahead will be full of life-changing experiences. Growing in knowledge and understanding of the Bible and your Christian walk with God is essential for your spiritual growth.

For more information please visit the following website where the above information was taken from: www.davidjeremiah

Thanks for reading this blog and may God bless you!
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