I called my dad around 15:00 (3 pm) yesterday to check on him and my mom. My mom was taking a nap. He was explaining that my mom had almost quit eating and drinking. We decided he should call the doctor and see if an IV to rehydrate her would be appropriate. We talked for about 30 minutes. About 10 minutes after we hung up he called back. My mom had passed away in her sleep. She has been living with severe dementia for the past three years. My dad has been her sole caregiver.
My dad has been caring for my mom for 62 years. When the funeral home arrived they couldn’t get the gurney to the bedroom. So my 80 year old dad lifted my mom from the bed, carried her through the dining room and kitchen, onto the porch and laid her on the gurney.
Everything has been pre-arranged and paid for long ago. She will be buried in our family plot with family members who were citizens of the Republic of Texas, Civil War, WWI and II heroes and a some very nice, everyday folk. The family, especially my dad, is encouraging me to miss the funeral and press on to the PADI Course Director Training Course. The tentative plan is to have a small grave side service as soon as possible and a memorial service when I return. My dad will be meeting with the funeral home this morning to determine when a grave side service could be held. Jasper, Texas is a very small town. My dad knows the owners of the funeral home and has worked there as a volunteer on occasion in the past.
When I last spoke with my dad last night he seemed to be doing very well. He said he was very busy on the phone trying to console crying callers. He said he was also trying to keep the throng of well-wishers from bringing massive amounts of food to console him. (I’m not sure if that is a Baptist thing or a country thing.) All is as well as it can be. My dad is of great faith. Ecclesiastes 12:7, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it”. Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose”.
I appreciate your thoughts and prayers.
Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
Aboard S/V Escape