Jessie’s New Year’s Eve

We are sorry to say that Jessie’s ‘up and downs’ continue to have a generally downward trend. To us, the very worst part of the last month is how many times, and for how many hours, they have let Jessie be in pain. For various ‘reasons’ and excuses and screw ups. I could write a really vicious and long, itemized and documented piece about how I feel about that, but I am trying to be upbeat and encourage prayers and positive thoughts, so I will not do that right now.

If some of you don’t know us very well, you may get the wrong idea about how I (Dave) feel about this whole thing.

I do not want my mother to die. I thought that she had several more enjoyable years left. We are all going to die. I am old enough to have had many friends and relatives die in the last few years. There are different opinions on this, but mine is that it is an essential part of life. Getting mad or irrational about it only hurts you. Like getting mad that Thursday ends, or 2010 ends. Happy New Year, by the way.

Janet and I feel strongly that we should try very hard to NOT dwell on the loss of a loved one. But, rather remember all the wonderful moments that they caused in our lives or that we shared with them. They gave us so many nice memories, and in the case of a parent, life itself. They would want us to always be happy, not sad when we think of them. We have been truly blessed to have known them. It is like the question, “Is the glass half empty or half full.” This glass is very full and we have been literally blessed.

Janet & I also, are certain that Death is not actually ‘the end’ of everything, just some things. We love the poem “A PARABLE OF IMMORTALITY” by Henry Van Dyke, Born 1852, Died 1933. He was a 19th Century clergyman, educator, poet, religious writer, and United States Minister to the Netherlands.

It is easily found on the web. Try this link:
http://storiesforspeakers.blogspot.com/2008/10/parable-of-immortality-by-henry-van.html

We can usually choose many things about how we live our lives and I thought that I could be an advocate for my mom while she was in the hospital. I did all that I could and will continue to. It is frightening to think what would have happened if I had NOT been there. Don’t get me started on “the Greatest Healthcare System in the World.” A nice knee jerk reaction that some of our friends have, but blindly rooting for the Home Team is a bad idea in this case.

This is getting too long. Most of you are well aware that ‘Dave doesn’t know any short stories.’

With the approval of every doctor involved, we put Jessie into Hospice. The hope is that she will finally have adequate pain management. We are not killing her. Some surprisingly large percentage of people recover while in Hospice. I believe that while we cannot choose when we will die, we can sometimes choose what percentage of Nightmare is involved.

This is completely in keeping with many long, thoughtful discussions with Jessie, Janet & Dave when my father, John Heath died in 2003 and other times. It is also expressed in various legal documents that Jessie had drawn up years ago. I suggest that you learn what your state or Country allows and get your views in writing before it is too late.

Janet is still doing great and Dave is too, except for the frustration.

We will continue to update as things happen. Thanks again for your prayers and wonderful wishes every time you think of us.

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