At a place called Grace Assisted Living, in Meridian, Idaho, in the tiny apt. my Father and Mother have lived for the past 8 1/2 months. There sits my Father's boots, the two pair he brought from home when he came here to live. He would alternate the days he wore them. At 98 years of age, his shoulders and arms did not work as they once had. Some days he struggled to pull those boots on, and many evenings my Mother helped him to remove them. Along with his Levis, his western shirt and vest, and most often his cowboy hat, he made a fine and dapper looking gentleman. Lately his boots have sat there together, under the t.v stand where he would sit and watch his western movies and while away the hours.
On Sunday January 5th, while getting himself dressed, he suffered a fall and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. It was determined that he had fractured his pelvis in 3 places. From that point on, he was bedridden. He spent two nights in the hospital and on Tuesday January 7th was transported back to his place at Grace. He was already in Hospice care due to another hospitalization over Thanksgiving. From the moment he came back to Grace, there was a steady stream of relatives along with the hospice people. The hospice staff were all wonderful to him and to us. Hubby and I were there, we had spent the previous 3 1/2 weeks in Idaho so we had spent a lot of time with him. Because of work commitments, we had to come back to Texas, so, reluctantly, we left on the 11th. From the time he came back to Grace he alternated between being clear and coherent to being agitated and incoherent. When he was doing well, he always had a kind word or a joke for the hospice staff, the aides and staff at Grace and anyone who came by to see him. Yesterday on Sunday the 19th, he passed peacefully, in the presence of my Mom, my Sister, my Aunt(his sister) and my Cousin(his niece). My Father, Bernard(Barney) Stephen Conner, was 17 days from reaching his 99th birthday.
When I left him on the 10th, I was pretty certain it would be the last time I would see him in this life. I wrote these words when I got back home to Texas.
Your voice so soft
I cannot hear
I must lean in
Close to your ear
So much unspoken, but the time is near
All I can do is say...
I Love You