It is 2:30 AM and I am lying here in my bed at my brother’s house on Aug 31, 2018 unable to sleep. It is exactly one year ago today, that Terry spend his last full day here on this earth, sitting peacefully in his recliner in our RV on MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. I remember this day so distinctly.
Terry had returned home from the hospice house several days ago. That Friday morning Terry’s hospice nurse paid a visit to him and they had a candid conversation together. The hospice nurse being in this special field for quite some time knew quite well that Terry’s passing was fast approaching and Terry knew it as well and readily accepted his fate. Terry thanked his nurse for all the care that she had provided to him during his brief time under hospice. The nurse in turn said to Terry that she enjoyed caring for him and was glad that she was able to provide some comfort to him in his last days. Terry then replied back to his nurse that “He was ready…” and the nurse in turn replied back “It’s okay Terry.” It was like they had a special bond between them two of them…..both knew and had accepted that it was time.
As I sat there witnessing this conversation between Terry and his hospice nurse I had a lot of inner anxiety. Everything at that point seemed so surreal. How could I accept what was about to happen? I felt a great sense of helpless and had a feeling that I had personally failed Terry in some way to make him well again. I know in my heart that I did all that I could do in attempting to get him the best medical care possible, but it just didn’t seem right. How could this man of only 57 years leave this earth now when in the prime of his life! I didn’t want this journey to end. Being the control freak and the “take charge” kind of a guy that I am, I felt that if there was even a remote possibility of trying something new in the medical field for treating cancer that could extend Terry’s life even for just for a bit longer, then why not try? I know that in reality, we had essentially already tried all available medical treatments currently available and according to Terry’s doctor’s there really weren’t any other viable avenues to pursue for him. Terry’s cancer had just spread too aggressively throughout his body. I knew and had to accept at this point that all I really could do now was to be there for Terry in his final days and to keep him comfortable and to let him peacefully transition to his eternal life according to God’s plan.
I close this final full day exactly one year ago in Terry’s life by reposting for you the last video blog that he did back on Aug 25th, 2017, just one week before his passing. Even in the physical condition that he currently was in at that time, it was quite evident that Terry was at peace with himself and truly accepted what was about to happen. It is remarkable that he even was able to instill a little humor in his video by stating that he needed a haircut !
I am also including below, a copy of Terry’s last blog that he physically wrote on August 28th, 2017, just 3 days before his death. In this post he describes seeing “figures in the distance”.
Fears and Fogs & Alone Suffocating, grasping and seeing figures in the distance.
Then there is the choking waking me in the middle of the night to remind me it is time.
These are ramblings of a dying man, a man whose body and brain are tired.
And what about the vision, another sign?
A sign for what?
To remind me it is time?
There is that apple sauce going nowhere really no longer to serve a purpose. Well the purpose has changed some and reminds me of the signs.
Remind me not to eat too many ice chips or drink too much water, because of time could come later.
To remind me it is time?
Fears and Fogs & Alone Suffocating, clasping and seeing figures in the distance.
From that point forward over those last few days, I painfully watched Terry struggle to attempt to get on his laptop to write, but it had just becoming too physically and mentally challenging for him to do so. So ends the final chapter of Terry’s blog posts to you.