Father God, I want to start by thanking You for allowing me the honor of sharing a tiny little piece of Mr. Mays life. The journey that You sent me on has been one of great joy.....and great sorrow. Lord, I pray that as I write this story today, You will give me every word from Your Heart! I pray that You will be honored as I attempt to honor the life of a very special man that You created for a very special purpose! Father, please help me to write this story, because without You......it is just that.....a story. In the name of Jesus I pray......Amen.
When God gave me the opportunity to start with Hospice Advantage, I had no idea what He was going to do, or how He was going to use it.....I just knew that it was something that I HAD to do! In my life, I have not dealt well with death, so just the fact that God placed me in this position was a key indicator that He had a plan that was bigger than me and what I could do. All who really know me, know that I love people.....all people......but especially the young people and the elderly people. Just look at any of my Honduras pictures on Face Book and you will see what I mean! With Hospice, you will find young, old and everyone in between. Yet God gave me the elderly to work with.....what an honor! I have never liked History, but God saw fit to put living history right before my eyes! Working with the elderly Hospice patients has given me a new appreciation for History.....real history, not the kind you find in the text books....first hand history!
When God placed it on my heart to start writing about some of my patients, I doubted if God could use it.....after all, who would follow me writing about my small scale adventures.......well, God showed me in a really big way that this was all part of HIS plan! As I wrote about Mr. Jack, my first Hospice patient, people began to follow our adventures.....whoda thunk? When Mr. Jack died.....I had people writing me.....mourning over the death of a man that they had never met.....but they knew him in their hearts and minds because God wanted them to! I had many, many patients after Mr. Jack, but often as I got permission to write about them, they were either unable to share things with me.....or they passed on before I could get all the required paperwork in order. Then one day, God place this beautiful smiling man in my life......Mr. May!
Mr. May caught my attention the moment I walked through his door. He had a smile that would melt the hardest of hearts, and bring a smile to absolutely anyone's face! I knew the moment I walked in his door, he was the next one I was to write about and bring his precious story to the world. If you have not read them yet, I encourage you to go back in my blog to the very first story about Mr. May and move your way up to the present time. Now, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that our time has come to an end to be able to share with one another first had events. My heart is heavy, but God is gracious!
Thursday morning was like most any other day, up and about with the family, making breakfast and doing laundry, when I got the call. One of the Nurses from Hospice called me to let me know that Mr. May was not doing well. He had had a bad night and it was not looking like he would be with us much longer. She knew how close I was to Mr. May and did not want me to be blindsided if something were to happen. Chris was out cutting grass when I ran out and told him that I needed to go see Mr. May. We had already planned to go on Saturday on the way home from moving Chelsea back to school. With gas the way it is, we try to make every trip count. Looking into my eyes that were starting to tear, he told me to go. He knew that I would not go if he did not want me to, but Chris being the wonderfully caring person that he is.....there was not even a question.
All the way to the Hospital I talked to God. I thanked Him for the blessings He has bestowed on me through the lives of my patients......especially Mr. May! I prayed that God would give me the chance to see Mr. May one last time....IF it be His Will. I prayed for Mr. Mays family, especially his wife to which he would be married 60 years to in September........I prayed for Mr. May, that God would give him peace and comfort.........and I prayed most of all, for Gods ultimate Will. As I arrived at the Hospital I very quickly went inside. Normally, I would be greeted with a big smile and wide eyes......but not this time. Terri, Mr. Mays wonderful personal caregiver, was sitting quietly talking to Mr. Mays Hospice Nurse, Stacy, informing her of that mornings status. I was afraid to wake him, but Terri told me that he would want to see me. Now waking up for a long period of time was not going to happen, but we would occasionally get his eyes opening......and twice, I even managed to get a small smile! The picture of our hands that I posted at the beginning of the story was one I took as I was singing to Mr. May. I had an actual picture of him, but due to the fact that Mr. May was always very conscientious about what pictures I used, I decided that he would not want me to use one of him looking so tired and without a smile. I had the honor of getting to spend several hours with Mr. May, singing and talking to him.....even if he did not really understand what all I said to him. For some reason though, as I was talking to him, I felt as if he knew exactly what I was saying. I spent a lot of time talking to Terri in a hushed whisper and that time was precious too. After a while I went and visited my other patients, but came back to spend more time with Mr. May. While there, I also got to meet his beautiful daughter Cindy. Cindy, like her mom and dad, has quite a sense of humor. She has a beautiful heart and you can tell that she really loves her parents. I could tell that I often saw a different side of Mr. May than Cindy did, but it was cool because I was able to share a few things through the stories that she did not know. I know how that is, after my granddad died, I found out things I had never known......and then wondered why I never tried to sit with him and find out more. Maybe that is part of the "why" I now enjoy talking and hearing stories from others. Mr. May taught me that this life is very short, but there is so much that can be packed into this relatively short lifetime!
The time had now come that I had to leave. It was so hard to do so. I knew I would be coming back that way on Saturday.......but would he still be there? Now I know, the answer was no. Friday morning, Terri sent me a text letting me know that he had passed away before she got to the Hospital to sit with him. My heart sank, and yet I knew that my friend was now in the arms of our Savior with no more pain......running and jumping for joy! This earthly body had let him down, but his heavenly body is now perfected! I can just see the smile on his face as he is hearing the Angels singing the most beautiful praises to God! My friend is free from sorrow, free from pain, free from drama and free from disappointment! The hand in the picture that I am holding is no longer wrinkled and shaking, but it is beautiful and praising our God! I am not going to lie and say that I am not going to miss him, for I truly am, but I am filled with joy and sadness all at the same time!
It is my hope that I will get to hear more stories from his wife and his family......and if this happens I will be gratefully sharing them with you! I was not ready for this story to end, but as in all stories, there is a beginning and an end. I pray that when you read this story, it will inspire you to go and talk to your family, your friends, and those who God places in your path! Sit down with a recorder or a pad and paper and take the time to really get to know them! God has so many lessons in each of our lives. Lessons to be learned from in both good and bad ways. He has given us memories both good and bad. He has filled our lives with laughter and tears. Why would we ever want to waste them and not share them? This chapter in my life has been one of the most wonderful chapters! I have learned so much and grown as a person. I do not know what story God will have for me to share next.......but I know that I am ready for the task!
Father God, thank You for Mr. May! Thank You for allowing me to share a small part of their life! Thank you for allowing me to bring a smile to Mr. Mays face when he would read the stories of his life! Thank You Father for giving me time to tell my friend goodbye! Thank You Lord, thank You!
P.S., if you click on any of the words in green above......it is linked to the things I am talking about. Hospice Advantage.......my pictures in face book, and the link to my first story written about Mr. May. May God bless you ALL!!!!