November 18, 2013.

Around noon I received a phone call from my mother-in-law. The nurse told her Dad’s body was starting to shut down, and  it looked like he would soon pass. I asked her if she wanted to be taken to see him, but she wasn’t sure at that point. She was wanting to remember him as he was. She was very distraught, so I asked if she wanted me to call Annie and Elana, so they could see him before he passed. She said yes.
I called Jon and his sisters. Annie was actually on her way to see him. She had decided to make a quick visit on her lunch hour. Dad was in a lot of pain, and was moaning and wailing when she  first arrived, so the nurses gave him more pain and anxiety medicine. He calmed down, and stayed sedated for the rest of the evening.

I was at our homeschooling co-op, so I gave the girls the option of coming to the hospital, or staying. I wasn’t sure if I was going to let them see him, depending on his state, and felt like it was best for them to stay and finish their classes. They were torn, and sad, but decided to stay. I arranged for my mom to get them, so Jon and I could stay as long as we needed. When I left, Eden was crying, but she was in kind hands with one of the moms. I was torn about leaving her, but I only had a short time to comfort her before I said goodbye.

I picked Jon up from work, and then we went to his mom’s house. We didn’t know if she would be going at this point, but when we got there she was nearly ready to go.

We met Annie at the hospice around 1:45. We held Dad’s hand, and conversed.

Annie eventually had to return to work due to a deadline, and shortly after she left Elana showed up.

More holding of his hands, and conversing. It was peaceful to be there.

Elana then needed to pick up her son, and so she returned later in the night for a little while.

We had just returned from a trip to the cafeteria when I got the call from Conrad wondering where to go.Conrad  had flown in from Missouri, and arrived around 5:30 pm.

After talking for a while, Conrad asked if Mom wanted him to give Dad a blessing. It seemed like he needed to progress, and pass away, but was holding on. She said yes, so Conrad gave Dad a blessing and told him it would be OK to leave this earthly body, and return to our Savior. He may have even commanded him to, my brain is a little fuzzy on what was said.

We watched intently at first, but then we got to chatting. I was watching Dad, and saw him draw his last two breaths. Mom was holding his left hand, and I was holding his right. I said, “I think he’s gone,” and got the others attention. Mom later told me that she had heard that last breath, and then realized there was silence. It happened within just a few minutes of the blessing.

The nurse was called, and confirmed his death. It seemed like it took him forever to listen to his heart and tell us. Dad’s coloring had changed, and it was obvious that he was gone.

He passed away at 7:01 pm.
Mom was grateful to have been there. She was worried to face the death of her husband, but having those 5 hours to sit and be there, and watch the natural progression seemed to help, and provide closure.
I’m thankful we were able to be there. Dad had family  with him when he passed. Jon and I were worried  he would pass late in the night, while no one was there.
Fernard has been a kind and loving father-in-law and grandpa. He was so happy to see the girls the last few times they saw him. I’m happy the last time they saw him, on Sunday, he was able to give them each a big hug. I think sitting and waiting would have been hard, and instead they have a pleasant memory.
Fernard was 84 years old, and just 6 days shy of being married to Sandra for 60 years. We’ve decided those last few days don’t matter, they’ve been together much longer than their marriage, so 60 years it is.


One Response to “November 18, 2013.”

  1. nice niece Says:

    I’m so glad you wrote this. <3