Sad Tidings & Reflections on a Good Man

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A few days ago we lost a member of my family, a cousin. Today my husband’s uncle–the one he has been looking after during a recent illness–passed away during surgery to replace an infected heart stent. Thankfully his own son and daughter-in-law from Ohio and other area family members were able to be there at the hospital when it all happened.

Benny’s cousin thanked him for all he had done for his dad. Benny insists it wasn’t much, but it was. He did his best, and that is all anybody can do.  Uncle had reached a point where he did not want to eat or drink and had allowed himself to get into an even more weakened state before going into the hospital.

Benny had taken him to doctor’s appointments, wiped him when he soiled his pajamas, washed his clothes and dishes and bought groceries trying to coax him to eat. If the man had employed a paid caregiver, he wouldn’t have been cared for any better. Perhaps not as well.

I am so sad for my husband, yet I am so proud of him, too. These words from the Bible keep popping into my head: “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Just as I sometimes think I couldn’t possibly adore Richard Armitage one whit more, I find myself falling even more in love with the love of my life.

Enjoy your friends and family and loved ones as we enter a new year. And cherish the memories of all those you’ve loved and lost.  Blessings.

About fedoralady

I'm an LA native--Lower Alabama, that is. My husband of more than 30 years and I live here on a portion of my family's former farm with two gorgeous calicos and a handsome GSD mix. My background is art education, and over the years I've been a teacher, department store photographer, sales associate and a journalist. My husband, his business partner and I have Pecan Ridge Productions, a video production company, for which I shoot & edit video and stills and manage marketing. I also still write part-time for the local paper. I love movies, music, art, photography and books, and my tastes in all of them are eclectic.

31 responses »

  1. I’m so sorry to hear about your losses Angie- both so sad. Please pass on my condolences to Benny ( who is no doubt not phased by having all your RA friends sending their regards). – it sounds like he was a great comfort to the elderly gentleman in his final months. As someone with relatives a long way away, I cannot tell you how much it means when someone else cares enough to step in and help out in emergencies. You have indeed got yourself a wonderful man there. Take care of each other.

    • Thank you, Bolly. He is quite used to getting messages from my RA friends by now. He thinks you a very nice (if slightly eccentric) lot–but he thinks the same of me re the eccentricities. 😉 I think more than anything his uncle simply wanted attention at times during those last weeks, and as much as he was able, Benny did that. They used to go out to each for lunch together once a week. I know elderly people can be quite lonely and at times, child-like, and Benny showed a lot of kindness and patience.

      One might say he has a lot of practice in these matters–he looked after both his parents as their health failed, stayed the night many a time with my dad after his stroke/onset of vascular dementia (being the only one who could physically handle a still-strong but mentally damaged man), and was with my sisters and me during that long vigil after my mother’s life support measures were terminated, all through the more than six remaining hours that she clung to life.

      When he left the Air Force, we made the decision to come home so we could be near our parents and be there for them, and we tried to live up to that. All our siblings lived away in other states or other parts of the state. I won’t say it’s been easy, but in the end, I am glad we did what we did. I think our siblings do appreciate our efforts.

      I heard him shoring a little earlier, so I hope he’s getting some decent rest. He needs it. Thanks again.

  2. My sympathies, Angie. I’m so sorry. Please give Benny my heartfelt thanks for doing so much, bearing so much, and having the guts and the kindness to be there when it mattered. Take care, both of you and know that you’re in my prayers.

    • Thanks, Leigh.

      Miss Pearlie raised such a good boy who grew up to be such a good man. I told him today that his mother would be especially proud of him. I always said she saved the best for last. I told him how proud I was of him, too, and couldn’t do it without tears. I just wanted him to have no doubt how I felt. And Thumper climbed into his lap more than once attempting to offer her own special brand of roly-poly purring comfort.

      • Good for you, good for Thumper. I hope Benny is resting well now. It’s true that we know about pain and the price it exacts from us. I hope both you and Benny have relief now and throughout the year.

  3. I’m really sorry for your loss, the only comfort now it’s knowing that Uncle is in peace now, and not suffering any more. And your husband is a truly wonderful man. Here in Spain we always take great care of our eldest, and I know (after seeing it in my own family) how difficult and what an effort it is look after somebody who had just given up. Reading what you tell us about him, you can tell Benny did a great job, and I’m sure that his cousin is not the only one thankful for it. And I’m sure he will let Benny know that from “up there” 😉 A big hug for you both xx

    • Thanks, Noemi. Yes, it was frustrating for Benny trying to get his uncle to eat and drink, knowing if he didn’t he’d end up back in the hospital or nursing home with dehydration or worse. As I told him, he couldn’t force his uncle to do it. He did the best he could to find things his uncle liked and could handle on his stomach. He has nothing to feel bad about it terms of how he looked after his uncle. And thank you for the hug. Sort of feeling the need for one. 😀

  4. I’m so sorry for this, Angie! May you, your husband and family have strength to overcome this moment. (I’m a quite new visitor here, but my words are sincere.)

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