Take My Love With You When You Know It Is Time

It is almost one am and I need to get some sleep. But before I can I want to thank you for all of your support and your great friendship. I couldn’t possibly have done any of this without either one.

It has not been a good day. It seems so many changes happen and I just about can’t keep up with them they come so quickly.

Last night I recognized a certain breathing Al was doing. With prior experience taking care of patients nearing the end, the memories swiftly returned as I watched and listened to him. It didn’t stop there.

This morning when I woke him for his shower, he looked at me like he had no idea who I was or where he was. Two ladies appeared at the front door and between them and Al I sat here at my computer in awe as I was forced to hear the rude comments coming from Al’s mouth.

He was angry and mouthy. He was definitely not himself. After the shower was complete, both ladies look exhausted. I knew in that moment the showers were over. It was bed baths from now on. When they brought the topic up for the next shower day, I wasted no time in agreeing with them. I do not want these nice gals getting hurt over Al’s weakness.

Al went off to Day Program as planned but when he arrived home there was no looking up at me as he usually does. No wave from his hand. There was only nothing. The bus driver kept giving me the look as she lowered him to the snowy ground.

I could tell that she wanted to tell me something but could not because Al was right there. I wished her a good weekend and took Al inside to a nice warm living room. I quickly took his outer wear off and looked at his communication book and saw that there had been issues during the day.

The comments were Al was very weak. Two staff had tried to help him with the bathroom duty but Al’s legs didn’t move. The two could not hold up the dead weight and Al slid down to the floor, so they would not drop him.

With extra help they got him back in his chair. He has a blood mark where he was injured and a report was made on this.

I had surprised Al when I went out to get groceries and stopped at his favorite restaurant and picked up supper. I nuked the food and started to feed Al but he wanted nothing to do with it.

It seemed that he was slipping a way from me. No emotions, no movements. I called Hospice and told about the incident from Day Program. She came over and checked him out.

His blood pressure was high. His heart beat was too high. He was not well. She and I looked at each other and we both knew we could not lift him to put him in bed. She called the fire department and within minutes five fire fighters arrived.

I know this is  hard to believe but with one of the guys in charge of removing the wheelchair away once they had Al up, it took all four of the others to put him in bed. When there is dead weight involved, what they weigh in reality seems doubled.

The nurse noticed some changes in his feet. Cold and a little dark. She was so nice. She helped me get Al’s clothing off and get him changed and positioned. Not many nurses do that and I was very appreciative.

When we left his room and we were in the living room she began conversations of what to look for with Al when he is passing. She gave instructions on what to do and who to call once that time was here.

I knew in my heart that Al didn’t have much longer. She told me with the visits Al has had from heaven that I needed to tell Al to take their hand and go.

She then grabbed her things and gave me the biggest hug. I felt like all of you were a part of that hug, it was so big.

After she left I went in and sat with Al. We talked about heaven and I told him the next time he saw mom or dad or grandma to grab their hand and go. I told him he has been a real fighter in this illness. I explained that if things didn’t improve by Monday he would probably not be able to go to Day Program any longer.

I explained that he did a good job all through this and how proud I was of him. I waited and watched him as he tried hard to settle down to sleep. Rhino came in and meowed and I heard Al say ever so softly, ” I will miss you Rhino.” With that Al went to sleep.

I am not scared, and I am not ready, but I know things are going to change again. I am so thankful that I have had the chance to be with Al and that I have Rhino.

Al, I don’t know when your time is going to be, but I love you brother. Take my love with you when you decide it is time to go.

Al and Rhino, Nov 1


68 thoughts on “Take My Love With You When You Know It Is Time

  1. Oh dear Terry,
    I have tears running down my face as I read your words again and again. Thank you for sharing with us this difficult journey. His will be done and Al will be sitting among the angels very soon.. As one of my very favorite songs go “I’ve (Al’s) got a mansion just over the hilltop in that bright land where we will never grow old and some day yonder we will never more wander but walk on streets that are purest gold.”
    Bless you both…yes, that lady was delivering all our hugs to you today!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope you have a support network for after Al passes. You will need the comfort of other people. I tend to isolate myself and I know I should get out more. I pray for you and Al. May the time you have left be peaceful and filled with love.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I, like many others, have tears as I read this. I know it is hard, and I don’t know if he will be with you when you wake, but know that we will all be with you Terry. You have a great support network here, and we will be there for you as you need us.



  4. Terry, my life has been even more chaotic than usual for the past couple of weeks. I have looked at your posts, but just quickly to scan them. Today I have some time, so this is the first post I read. It certainly does seem as if Al is truly beginning the process of actively dying. I think it must make it harder for you that you are familiar with the signs and know what they mean. I’m so thankful that your hospice nurse was so kind, and that the firemen responded to quickly and helpfully. I will continue to pray for you both.


      • Terry, you must have taken down the post you did earlier this morning, about feeling guilty–“Dear Abby.” I’m sorry you did, because I think your fears of getting a lashing are groundless. You are in a terribly difficult situation with very little support. As Al continues to deteriorate, he will become more self-focused all the time. Here’s what I think: It’s time for some tough love. I think you need to lovingly but firmly tell Al that if you’re going to be able to continue to care for him, you MUST get your sleep at night. He MUST not call you in the night unless it is a true emergency. If he continues to call you because he’s bored, etc. then you will have to refuse to come. Emphasize that if he wants to continue to stay with you, and for you to care for him, you need your night sleep. I don’t think you’re being selfish or any of the other awful things you seem to be thinking of yourself right now. No one could have done any more for him than you have already.

        One more thought. Does he take any sleep meds? Seems it may be time for him to do so if he isn’t already.


  5. Terry, I can feel your pain. Since I last wrote to you, I have laid my dear father to rest. It all seems a blur when it is over. He died the day before Thanksgiving. But, I will tell you this. I would never have done anything differently. We were with him all throughout his dying days. Sleeping with him in the hospital. At one point, I asked him if he saw my mother, and he said yes. Then, when he was sleeping we saw him lift his arms straight up and hug someone. I think it was my mom. Hospice helped Dad to be comfortable every step of the way. They helped us too. We held hands a lot and Dad communicated by squeezing it. If he felt anxious or was in pain, I would tell the staff and they would up his meds. Before Dad died, we gave him permission and told him we would be ok. That he had prepared us well for this time and not to worry about us. Tell Al you will be ok too because I am sure he is worrying about you. You will see Al prepare to enter the spiritual world and leave this world of pain. Terry, you have been the best sister anyone on earth could every have and I am sure Al is so very grateful to have you in his life. Your words have helped me a lot during my Dad’s last few days. You’re an inspiration to us. I continue to think about you and pray for you. God bless you and Al.


    • I am sorry that you have lost your father, but he is no longer in pain. This is my wish for Al, to have the pain be gone. Al today has been talking about his viewing and his funeral. I am assuming that all he is talking about this past week is his issues before he goes. I have told him to go ahead and be with mom and dad, but there is a part of Al that is fighting it. I think he is scared but he doesn’t say of what


  6. Terry, lift your arms wrap them around yourself and squeeze…feel the comfort that brings…that is me giving you a hug and what ever strength I have to help you through this time of transistion for AL.
    My heart hurts for you and the loss you are facing.
    Lord give Terry the strength and comfort only you can give. God help Al complete this circle of life knowing his loved ones wait for him with open arms too. That your will is being done that he will have no more pain or suffering. Lord give comfort and strength to Terry as the time comes for her to lose this brother she loves so dearly. Lord we know you are the great omnipotent we praise and thank you Lord giving you all the glory thank you for our blessings and our trials Lord. Amen


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  8. Tears as I read this. God is preparing you for Al’s departure. What a great reunion he will have, not only with the Lord, but with his loved ones as well. Losing a loved one is very difficult, but being aware of his final resting place, Heaven, is very reassuring. Will continue to pray for him, but he is in God’s hands. He truly loves Al. You are covered in prayers, and hugs, as well. Rest in the Lord. We are here for you.Blessings.


  9. Hi Terry, I was redirected to your site by Cate’s (wingedprism) link. I have no appropriate words as I cannot say I understand what both Al and yourself are going through. I hope you find comfort and strength in knowing that those who read your posts are praying for Al and you. I know you and Al will be in mine (prayer) tonight and hereafter. God bless you all. – Sam.


  10. Dear sweet Terry,
    My thoughts are with you, and I found out that no matter how ready we think we are for someone’s passing, we never are. I am glad that you had such compassionate caregivers with you, the nurse, the shower girls, the hopsice, and the firefighters. I agree that its entirely possible now that what Al needs is permission from you to go. That’s very common, I had to tell my dad that it was okay, that I loved him and that I was okay with him going at that time. Terry, you are surrounded by love at all times. As always, I have ahold of your hand even though you can’t see me. I hope for a peaceful day for you today, and I was thinking about how Al responded after getting off the bus….its possible that he is embarrassed and feels he somehow let you down…Al loves you dearly. Hugs sweet lady..


    • I think Al felt embarrassed that he couldn’t stand for the teachers at day program. I tell him that he need not be but he still is. He has been very apologetic today for anything he has forgotten. I tell him it’s ok, no need. Today he has talked mainly about his cars, his viewing and funeral


  11. Terry … my thoughts and prayers are with you and AL at this moment!! Life is hard, nearing the end of someone’s loved one is hard.
    I send all the healing light and bright energy that I can muster to envelope you in a cloud of warmth and love!!
    Stay are strong as you can … feel all of out here reaching for you!!! Hugs ….


  12. As I read this a heavenly peace came over me – it is as if time stood still for a few minutes. I pass this peace on to you and Al. We are never ready to say good bye. Just like you told Al to take the hands of those who have come for him, please, you take the hand of Jesus and allow His love and peace to fill your soul and take all of our hands to hold you up.


  13. Terry, I don’t know you at all having linked here after your visit to my blog today. This is one of the most difficult things you will ever do and I see from one of your comments that you already have done this before. I had forgotten until reading your post how very difficult and exhausting, in every way, it can be. But also worth it. It is something I have never regretted doing (although I had doubts at the time when the going became so tough for all concerned).
    I wish you strength to see this through and beyond.
    I haven’t read the post you allude to but I imagine it may contain doubts. Under such circumstances it would be impossible to feel otherwise at times. Take heart. And any help you can get from every quarter.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you.


  14. I’m so sorry. I did not notice the year on this post and know now, after perusing some of your later posts, of your loss. Please forgive my error. I would never wish to add to your grief. May this year hold all you could wish for and many blessings.


  15. I have felt so lost and out of place since Al died. I have published two books. I am trying to find an agent to set me up with speaking appointments having to do with MSA, which is what my brother died from. I have a page on FB that I put up last week and it took off quick. I am trying to get it outside of FB and into search engines. I do a lot of photography, but yet here I sit, with no job. Thus far, it is early in our new year, so I am hoping for something good to happen in my life. Al passed March 24th 2014. I wrote the post you read in December 2013


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