This past weekend John’s best friend Sam, Virginia and their son Robert came up from Texas to visit John. As John grows weaker and weaker with each passing day it took a lot of energy to visit with his friends. Their understanding, compassion and love was overflowing. They spent Friday and Saturday with him.
Saturday evening Sam took John outside with blankets and they sat and talked. We gave them time alone to talk about their friendship, the love they have for one another, and to say their goodbyes. We all know it will be the last time they all see him. As John grew tired they came inside and said their goodbyes. Sam and I embraced, and he said to me, “Julie I don’t ever want to leave him”. I said neither do I. Tears flowed from our eyes as they walked out the door.
“Saying goodbye to the physical is so hard. Knowing that your souls will someday embrace again is beautiful”
I have been trying to prepare myself as much as possible for the changes that are going to happen. John has not eaten for 12 days. He drinks water, but that is about all he can tolerate. His weight has dropped to 150 pounds. He has made the decision he no longer wants any more treatments or doctors. He finally agreed to hospice and they came on Sunday.
On Friday I made the pre-arrangements and although I have been in this place before with my mother, doing it for the love of my life was by far the hardest thing I ever had to do.
Father Tom also came on Sunday to give John the anointing of the sick. I can’t express how grateful I am Father Tom came to our home. He spoke to John, me and the boys and blessed us all. He hasn’t changed at all. Joey told him that he hadn’t aged one bit and we all agreed. We shared stories, laughed and when it was time we laid hands on John while Father Tom anointed him. After he was done it was like a heaviness was lifted off all of us. I think it was something we all needed, but definitely; something John wanted and needed.
After many late night talks, while lying next to each other discussing faith, God and heaven, John is no longer afraid of death. He has talked with all his close friends, talks with his family as much as he can (they try to make short visits once a week) and he has had a long talk with the boys. He let the boys know he is tired and he didn’t want them to be mad that he is leaving them. He told them he is proud of them and to keep moving forward in life, he will be watching. He tells me he is no longer worried about the boys and me. He is at peace and is ready whenever God brings him home.
As for me, I am doing much better knowing, things are in place, support is in place, and John is at peace. Seeing his suffering is hard. Praying the suffering ends soon is daily. Thanking God everyday he walked into my life June 13th, 1994, forever. Finally letting go of him seems impossible.
John keeps telling me about what my life is going to be like after he is gone. I hope he is right, but I can’t imagine doing all that he says I am going to do without him.
John never thought he would see his 60th birthday and he did. Today he turned 60, and his dad would have been 89 today (something they shared). A mile stone in so many ways. It was never how we imagined spending my 50th and his 60th birthday, yet I feel so gifted I have another day with him.
Happy Birthday my love. When the time comes and your candle no longer burns, may God guide you toward him. May you have joyful moments with your father and brother. May you embrace all of those friends and family you lost to early in life. May there be a huge lake full of bass and walleye with a beautiful cabin near by. And may you always look over us.