Friday, September 13, 2013
It Ain't Good But She's Hanging Tough
I met my sister and left my (her borrowed) car in a parking lot and she drove us to Griffin to visit Frances in the hospice. We were cruising along down Highway 16 chatting and laughing when we saw the entrance for the hospice a little too late. Cin took a hard fast left and screamed into the parking lot right in front of an oncoming eighteen wheeler headed in the other direction. As I stomped my foot on the passenger side floor board like it would brake the car, asked her if she was trying to reserve us a room at the hospice? We both laughed, survived the turn and as we pulled in the parking noticed the flag out front was at half mast. My sister wondered why it was half mast and I said "Well it IS a hospice, maybe they just want to be ready.
I'll have to say it is a really beautiful, brand new facility. It's still a hospice though. I knew Frances room number from her niece sending me a text yesterday. Franny was in B4. As we walked down the hall it was okay til we hit the room B3. The door was open and a very old man flat on his back, head up, eyes and mouth wide open seemed to gasp for breath, life or maybe either. Hospice is a sad place no matter who you are.
We got to B4 and the door was open. Franny was asleep on her back, little U shaped pillow around her neck with TV blaring. (she's deaf as a post)
It broke our hearts to see her like this. She has weathered so many illnesses and overcome many obstacles but as everyone knows, hospice is the last stop.
It took us a minute to wake her but when we did, she smiled and perked right up. Frances has always been an upbeat and positive person, even when down. Open heart surgery...a walk in the park. Botched catheter and six weeks in rehab, no problem. Kidney failure, no thanks Dialysis I'll just let this old body be and see how much longer God wants me around. I admire her attitude and outlook. She was showing us the bizarre bruising on her legs when I used the erasable white board to write a note, "Your toenails look pretty, who painted them?" Frances read the message, nodding her head as she read, looked up at me, squinted and said in her hilariously scratchy voice "WAL MART!"
She's lost a tremendous amount of weight and that worried me. She could wear MY clothes. She told Cin and me she wanted to change pajamas and immediately started unbuttoning her PJ top. Her boobs were out there for all of us to see but had the humor to say "Now watch my preacher come a knocking at the door." Not two seconds later a man knocked on the door and tried to come in. We told him to give us a second while we buttoned her back up and then said the peep show was over, come on in!
It was a man from her church...Floyd. Super nice guy, never met him but know him now.
We would write on the white board to Frances but then have to give it back to another person in the room to write another response. I know Frances feels funny when we are all talking about her and she can't hear us. Cin and I decided to go to and buy three or four white boards. That way we could all chat at once.
We stopped for lunch at a burger joint one of my high school friends turned me onto. If you are ever in Griffin, Ga go to Griffith's Drive In on Hwy 16. Excellent slaw dogs and pretty good burgers too.
We bought the dry erase boards on the way back. When we had left, the aid was helping to change Frances' PJ's when Floyd said "Guess I'll leave now." Frances hollered (she always hollers) "It'll only take a minute, don't go!"
When we pulled back into the parking lot I said to my sister, "I wonder if she is still holding Floyd hostage?"
We wheeled back in (this time without an eighteen wheeler oncoming) my sister said "I think that is Floyd just now pulling out in his truck out of that parking space." Jeez, her eyes are worse than mine. Floyd was a nice trim man, the dude driving the truck was a big ole fatty. I told her "That might the man who ate Floyd, but it isn't Floyd."
We took Frances four dry erase boards back, put one in each chair in her room chatted a bit more but had to go. Cin had a UMW retreat to attend, I had to cut the front yard before working at five and felt terrible about leaving but felt good about having gone to see Franny.
She's in hospice...not a good thing, usually a not so long good bye but at least she's still kicking and can still make us laugh.
She is a wonderful woman and have been blessed to have her in our lives.
Tim's going to visit and pick Massey up tomorrow... bring her home for an overnight stay, then I can take her to visit Franny on Sunday before taking her back to the university.
God can perform miracles. I just need for Him to swing one Frances' way.
Til next time...COTTON