Mar 21, 2010
Diagnosed with cancer, Richard had tried aggressive treatment but the disease was too powerful. As his health declined and the realization that the cancer had advanced too far, Hospice was called to the home. Richard was made comfortable with a bed, medication, and regular visits from his family. The remaining time was precious to Bev and Dick who took full advantage of the waning days.
At one point, Dick declined rapidly and the family knew that he might not survive the night. He rallied slightly but slipped into a deep coma and no longer responded to Bev or the children. For several days the family sat at his bedside, talking quietly to him and holding his hand but he remained unresponsive to their touch or words.
Several days later the family came together for another purpose. It was their mother's birthday and they gathered to honor her special day. Despite the sorrow of their father's disease, they believed it was important to celebrate the day of Bev's birth. Steaks were grilled, a salad was tossed and and potatoes were baked. The table was set and they were putting the finishing touches on the meal. Bev sat at the beside of her unconscious husband, listening to the laughter and clatter coming from the kitchen, giving thanks for her children who had come and for the man who had made this family possible.
As she prepared to join her children, Bev realized that Dick would not be joining them at the table for the first time in their married life. She took his hand, leaned close, and spoke softly to her love, "Dick, I'm going to go into eat with the kids and celebrate my birthday. But before I go, I want you to know that this could be your birthday, too. You don't have to stay here any more."
Moments later, Bev called to her children. Before they could walk thirty feet from the kitchen to the bedside, their father had breathed his last. In the quiet peace of this secluded home nestled along the sandy Mississinewa River bank, Dick left this party and went home to be with his Lord.
It was quite a birthday celebration.