Posts Tagged ‘hospice’

war horse spiritMy friend Clarence died last week after a year of his wife very tenderly taking care of him. Clarence was happy with his life, had his affairs in order and shared that he wasn’t afraid to die. His cousin and six siblings passed before him and he was deeply appreciative of his wife and daughter who looked after him.

Clarence lived in the house his grandfather built over a hundred years ago, had four children and drove trucks for his entire career. He has been to every state in the Union except for Hawaii. Once, he drove a truck all the way home from Chicago after the clutch blew. His favorite part of the job was teaching new truckers how to drive and helping them pass the licensing test. I believe he must have been a kind teacher.

Clarence was very concerned that I really learned something that couldn’t be learned enough. We’re lucky to have people in our lives to love, but it isn’t enough just to love them; you have to show them.

Shortly after his death I spoke with Mary, his wife, and shared how often he expressed his appreciation of her patience through his illness, of how many times he told me the story of their courtship 51 years ago and how much he loved her.  She already knew…



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My friend Richard Kearney died last week. I didn’t realize how much I missed him until I was walking in the grocery store last night and I saw some canned vegetables. Richard told me proudly that he gave away almost everything that he grew.

Nothing made him beam as brightly as when he talked about his son and daughter. “They never miss a day.” Richard wasn’t happy about being in a nursing facility and desperately wanted to leave. We played cards, a version of rummy that he liked to call 7 card poker. He licked the tip of his finger to pick up a card on his turn in just the same way that my grandpa Occie used to.

I liked sitting next to Richard and looking out his window with him. In his last few days he didn’t have much energy to talk. He would always smile when I held his hand. He had beautiful blue eyes that sparkled when he grinned.

Richard gave me some cookies that I threw away. I wish I kept them.


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