“She’s Been Loved to Life”

Clasping hands 2Linda entered Bethany, the memory care facility, in May 2015. It was a painful decision for us.  The subsequent eighteen months were the most excruciating I have experienced as she declined cognitively and physically.

By April 2016, she had lost 20 pounds and was becoming increasingly frail. After extensive medical evaluation, Linda was approved for hospice care.

She remained in Bethany for another six months. Confusion, fear, disorientation increased. She was gradually forgetting how to eat and walk. Her weight loss continued.

She was unable to perform minimal personal care, which made her ineligible for “assisted living.” She had to either be transferred to skilled nursing or taken home with full-time care.

I wanted her home! I asked the nurse practitioner for a prognosis of time remaining. Understandably, she was reluctant to project a time. But she said, “Perhaps six months to a year.”

It is now October 2018, thirty months since Linda was admitted to hospice care.  Although she can no longer walk and is confined to the bed and dependent for her personal care, she is more peaceful and less fearful.

“I would never have thought that she would still be with us!”  The nurse practitioner said with amazement during a recent visit.

As I stroked Linda’s hair and caressed her forehead, a pleasant smile and twinkle in the eyes appeared.

The usually stoic nurse said with evident emotion, “She’s been loved to life!”

Tearfully I responded. “We are determined to provide three things for her–physical and emotional safety, appropriate comfort, and the assurance that she is loved just as she is.”

“It’s obvious that she has all three. I just wish everybody could have what Linda has,” remarked the experienced and compassionate nurse.

I feel enormously blessed that Linda and I are both surrounded by love, and it is love that gives us life.

We are blessed with two daughters who love their mother with the unselfish love they received from her; and their families, including our grandchildren, share that love.

We have the help of caregivers to whom caring for Linda is a sacred vocation.

A couple from church bring a meal each Thursday, simply because they care.

A neighbor couple drop in almost every day to lend support.

I, too, wish everyone could have what we experience! Is that not what God desires for the human family–safety from unnecessary danger, comfort amid loss, and unconditional love and care?

We all need to be “loved to life!” Isn’t that why the church exists?

 

18 thoughts on ““She’s Been Loved to Life”

  1. Thank you for sharing your heartsong.. Your love and devotion epitomize the selfless care you have given to the precious woman who has shared your life and work. I was honored to meet you at The Oaks in Spartanburg. You are often in my prayers,

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  2. Absolutely beautiful sentiment. Thanks to our Pastor Stephen Mims for sharing. May you all continue your journey in peace.

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  3. Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing.
    For me, Jesus on the cross is that gift of “love to life”. God bless you and your family.
    Bob Vincent

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  4. Kenneth, you, Linda, family, friends, and caregivers are a powerful incarnate testimony to the love of God the Father, through his Son, Jesus the Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Thanks be to God!!

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  5. My tears joined your tears today as I read the post “Loved to Life”!

    God continue to help Ken, his family, and all who love and care for Linda to keep on keeping on!

    Bill

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  6. Thank you. My FIL died a year ago today at age 89. He was diagnosed with lung cancer 6 months prior to his death. We lived next door to him and knew he coildn’t Care for himself any longer, so he moved in with us. We loved on him every day he was with us. Thanks for the best explanation of our own relationship with him.

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  7. Dear Ken, Such a beautiful testament. One of the first things I learned as a Hospice nurse was great people tend to live longer being with Hospice . . . full team of healthcare professionals seeing our patients weekly! You are also blessed with your family & neighbors! God is definitely not finished with Linda’s earthly journey!! Blessings and prayers for you all!! 🙏❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I pray God’s care and keeping for Linda and all your family as you continue this journey. I agree that the goal of every church should be to love people to life!

    Liked by 1 person

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