Alongside him….

There is singing that is  emanating  smoothly and quietly from the borrowed CD player… It’s comforting to listen to the words from the old remembered hymn…

“Further along we’ll know all about it..further along we’ll understand why, cheer up my brother, live in the sunshine, further along we’ll understand why..”

This hymn is trying to overshadow the constant annoying beeps that beckon from down the hallway. What are they signaling anyhow?   It does not appear that anybody even notices anymore. There are many awkward bleeps, and alarms going off in the hospital.

Boiling and bubbling like a brook from an oxygen bag is also creating the sense that the kettle is making a promising cup of earl grey tea. I’m sure this is not the case, and this is a necessary medical type of equipment required for the patient.

A man comes whirling by polishing and cleaning the floor from outside the door, and it is reminiscent of a zamboni cleaning the ice prior to a hockey game. There are people there who know what their role is, and they are efficient and succinct in their measured efforts to complete their required tasks for the day.

This man’s beloved celery plant attempts to stand tall on the window sill giving recognition to all the love, time and energy this man has put into his prodigy.

Why,  because he happens to love celery, and because… It’s become too expensive.. who knew?.. Don did, that’s who, and he aimed to do something about it. Why complain about the cost when there was a solution right there.

Grow your own…

It is night time, and there is a light coming from underneath the bed, which illuminates my shoes… such a smart concept.. I now want a light attached from underneath my bed… no more tripping and falling… bonus points… a good plan.

This glow surrounds the slumber of a man who is drawing near to his final breath…when that will occur, only his creator knows. He measures our breaths, our moments on this planet. He determines our last breath.. He gives and takes away…. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

The man in the bed is dreaming quietly.. even breathing, no struggles. He gives these gentle moans of pleasure, which reminds me of “yummy sounds. Perhaps he is dreaming of the banquet table being prepared for his arrival in  heaven?  He may even be partaking in the cooking, which would give him great pleasure. Don loved to create. He is a “foodie,” and was long before that became the popular  thing.

His skin color is pink, and he just appears to be having a good long deep nap. He is content. I can see it. I reassure him that his wife will be ok, and Kathy too… his loved ones…

His daughters’ and granddaughter arrive. They comment on how peaceful it is in this room. It is still, and this man’s profile is even and relaxed in the softly lit room.

I had asked previously for some prayer for him and his family from several friends, and my friend Laura responded with ,

“This is holy ground.”

Oftentimes you don’t recognize that you are on Holy ground until another notices, and points out that fact. The privilege to sit with  this gentle man, who emanated love and acceptance through his every pore.  His laughter, and mischievous sense of humor is such a delight to all who know him.

When you are around him, you feel important. He has that way about him. He asks questions that show his concern, and interest in your life. He looks at you through eyes that can barely see, and yet you feel as if he sees right through you.

Cooking alongside him, has been one of my greatest joys. The way he planned the meal, and his expertise on how it should be dispensed has taught me so much. He instructed me to bend my knuckles in while chopping food so that I didn’t cut my fingers. One time while he was chopping carrots with a sharp knife, I told him to be careful, and with a witty twinkle in his eye, he told me he was making, ” finger food.”

I retorted with, ” yes, that’s exactly what I’m afraid of,” and we both laughed.

He gave instructions, and offered advice always in a loving and teaching way, never belittling you for not knowing. Such a sense of humor, and wealth of insight came from this brilliant mind. Even though he could barely see, that did not stop him for seeing who you really were.

Such an example he was to me, his friend.

Watching him love Joyce, and the two of them together exemplifies what long lasting love looks like. As Kathy would say,

“Don is the gold standard.”

It’s so true, this is the romance that exudes joy, but gentle perseverance in sickness, respect, and mutual understanding and acceptance in health.

This  is a love story for the ages. He told Joyce, and his children, and Kathy,

“Joyce saved my life.”

Observing his care over his wife, and his willingness to persevere through physical challenges without complaint, or blame is a testimony to his spirit.

He will be deeply missed.

He entered into the gentle embrace of his loving Redeemer on Sunday morning. There was no struggle, just acceptance.

As his son remarked yesterday,

” Dad taught us how to live, and how to die.”

This is a profound truth.

I will miss cooking alongside him… His joy, and zest for life was, and is inspirational.  He was a great example in many ways.

It is never the accepted time to say good bye.. There is never a good time to be parted from those that we love.

When there is disease, and pain, and suffering, we long for the release, and yet, the final touch of their skin, the ability to kiss their cheek, their scent, becomes something we want burned into our brain, we don’t ever want it to be the last time.. the last kiss.. the last touch.

This is torture.

Connection and reunion is the longing of the heart. Healing, and no longer any tears that rip open your heart is what we seek.

The great reunion in the sky.. being with those who have gone before, and who are dearly missed. Their voices, their laughter.. is like oxygen to us.. and so we hope.. and wait…

Your light will guide us forward, and give us courage to fight the battles, and unseen foes in our future… but for today.. we remember you.. Don Moir.. gentle man, who was much loved.. you were a giant to us..

Thank you for taking life on, and for showing us that the joy inside is what lasts.. this is your legacy.. you showed us Jesus… with fancy and colorful socks… Thank you for the gift of you.

4 thoughts on “Alongside him….

  1. Jill – words cannot express the thanks I have for you for spending such a holy night as you did! You story of my dear father has touched me very deep and I thank God for your love of him. You have a beautiful gift in your writing but also in your own warm and loving spirit! I think perhaps that is why you were a good friend to Dad, it was because you have the same attributes as him. Blessings and great thanks

    Debra Moir (the third)


    1. Hi Deb:
      It was a tremendous honor tp know your Dad. I’m so grateful to have spent meaningful time with him. Thinking of you in your loss..and praying for comfort..He will be missed greatly.. thank you for your kind words… ❤️


    1. Hi Dawna:
      Thinking of you, and praying for comfort, and for courage going forward. It’s a hard thing this loss, and separation from your Dad. May you feel Gods’ comforting arms around you.❤️It was really good to see and hug you😄


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