Saturday, February 12, 2011


My mother in law has been a patient in our local hospital since last Tuesday. Her oldest daughter, Lynn, came down from Rome, GA that same day and never left her hospital room for the next five days, except when I dragged her out to eat a couple of times at night.

She left to go back home today.

There are other things going on as well. My wife’s brother’s father in law passed away on Thursday night in Atlanta. My wife’s other sister is nursing her husband back to health who has been diagnosed with pneumonia.

Kathy (my wife) moved in the hospital this morning to replace her sister. Although I am going home to sleep in my own bed tonight, I will leave Kathy at the hospital tonight with her mom.

Today my wife and I have been together all day with her mom in her hospital room. Tomorrow is shaping up to be a very similar day.

What in the world do you do in a hospital room all day?

First, you bring your computer. In fact you need at least one computer for each person. I’m very thankful this hospital has free wireless internet. The old way of passing time doing crossword puzzles from the newspaper never did work for me.

We used some wonderful Apple technology and I-Chatted with our kids in Atlanta. We were able to see and talk to our kids and our 15 month old grand baby and even got to see our 1 week old grand baby. All done effortlessly from the comfort of Room 233 of the Houston County Medical Center.

We easily kept up with all our friends on Facebook. We knew our friend was out of gas on Hwy 96 and her husband was not happy. And we knew other friends were with their little girl at the Pig Show in Perry.... and I could go on and on. And the the number of texts today was exponentially higher than normal.

I should tell you about the couple of hours I spent finding pictures of my mother in law taken as far back as 8 years ago. I’m glad I uploaded them to places like Shutterfly and Snapfish as I took them. Those pictures caused us to smile and reminisce and remember much better times for her. As some of you know, she is a gorgeous lady and was even more gorgeous several years ago. We had fun sharing a few of those pictures with some of the nurses and technicians who came in and out of her room today.

I should also tell you about one special Registered Nurse by the name of Faye. She used to be a home health nurse and it didn’t take us long to realize we have been in some of the same homes back in Taylor County. It also didn’t take us long to realize she is a wonderful and very competent nurse. She went home tonight with copies of both my books. I’ll go home tonight thankful I had the opportunity to meet Faye and very thankful there are folks in the world like her who look after folks we love.

And then I should tell you about Jazzmine, a Patient Care Technician who just applied to nursing school. If I was a betting man, I would bet she will be at the top of her class. Jazzmine has a difficult job and one that I could not do. But she does it effortlessly and very well and with much class. If I had not been here today, I would have missed out on meeting her and appreciating what the Jazzmines of the world do everyday.

Okay I will also tell you about my trip to Walmart. As much as I hate to go to Walmart, when you sit in a hospital all day, you look for reasons to go there. My wife needed some cough drops so I quickly volunteered to go to Walmart to get her some. As I was getting close to the cough drop section, I heard someone call my name. I turned and realized it was Latillia. I learned Latillia is now employed with Hospice. When I last saw her, it was a couple of years ago and she was employed as a Caregiver at an assisted living facility and looked after my mother in law. Her first question to me? “How is Mrs. Irene?”

I told her she was in the hospital but hopefully she would be released to go back to the nursing home soon.

If I had more time I would have told her that Mrs. Irene is in the sunset of her life. She is not the same person I have known so well for the past 40 years. Her disease is brutal - not as brutal on her, I believe, as it is on her children. Only God knows how long she will live or how long we will live for that matter. But we know for certain God has a reason for all of this.

And most likely more than one reason.

We may not know those reasons for a while and maybe will never know all the reasons this side of heaven.

But I am very convinced one of the reasons is so God could use folks like Faye and Jazzmine and Latillia to impact our lives.

He has.

And they have.


Caron Smith Peavy said...

As always, I enjoyed your blog tonight. Thanks for sharing the details of your day with us. I do "feel" for all of you. Please tell Kathy and Lynn they are in my thoughts and prayers. May God continue to watch over this situation, and give you all strength to handle it. I am glad He has provided people who really care!!

Judi-CAJ said...

Thank you for your post, Bruce. I've been praying for you all since I saw the post on FB. It is tough knowing that she will get better, yet not 'better.'.....but there is also comfort in knowing that in God's timing, she WILL be whole again. Very cool also the way you used technology to keep in touch with real people rather than doing a paper crossword. That you are a 'people person' is a blessing to so many people. Give Kathy a hug for me. Judi

Gary said...

Bruce you always know what to say. My prayers are with you and family God Bless.

kathrynf said...

What a tender chronicle of your family's love for one another. Your description of your day at the hospital caused me to recall the many days and weeks I spent in "room 213" (or some such number ) during my mother's illness, then my father's, and then my grandmother's and my uncle's and later my daughter's during her pregnancy. Trying times but you are right. If you are open to it you see the beautiful, caring souls all around doing the Lord's work.

Glen Searle said...

Thanks for blogging again.Sounds just like your books, both of which I enjoyed. Memories of "Past Joys" with your Mother in law will help the tough days you are experiencing now1 God bless.
Glen Searle Auburn Hills MI

Linda said...

Praying for all of you and of course for Irene. I will always remember her teaching us cheerleaders how to duck walk. Long time ago but always brings a smile and a quack-quack to mind. God Bless.