Today the first nurse to come into our room, a new one we had not met said, So this is the party room. Evidently the word got around the Hospice House staff that our room was a bit unusual. I started wondering what made it stand out. Was it the fact that every evening Dad’s room was full of people? He loved people. When we asked him if he wanted hospice at home or at the Hospice House where he could have more people, he didn’t hesitate one second. He wanted the people. Or maybe it was the fact that we had enough food to feed an army due to the generosity of our friends. Perhaps it was because we had more people staying overnight than any other room. But my guess is they named it that because we laughed so much.
If you knew my Dad you knew that he had a twinkle in his eye and a wry smile that clued you in to the fact that mischief was just beneath the surface. He was as talented with one-liners as anyone I’ve ever known. He was a great story teller and he loved to laugh. Three nights in a row as people gathered around his bed we would begin telling stories and end up laughing outrageously for hours. He would smile and open his eyes every so often and we knew he wouldn’t want to spend those evenings any other way. Come to think of it, we probably made way too much noise. But from the way the staff treated us I think they thought it was welcome.
Tonight nurses and aids came by to hug us and tell us how special the time with us had been. The staff at the Hospice House could not have been better. It far exceeded our expectations and they were pretty high at the beginning.
Yes, there was a party today too. This party was the finale. My Dad went to his heavenly reward at 6 p.m. He went peacefully. We didn’t have any meaningful conversation today so I’m glad we partied hardy for the days preceding. This last month was really hard in many ways. What is truly amazing is that joy is the predominant theme. We stood around his bed after the nurses cleaned him up and sang Amazing Grace. We formed a circle and prayed to thank God for his life and to ask God to help us. We enjoyed each other’s company and celebrated that during the whole tense month we didn’t have one cross word between anyone in the family. Yes, it was a party room! But our greatest joy is that we were just the pre-party to the real party happening up in heaven where the angels were dancing and Jesus was welcoming my Dad home!
We didn’t make decisions yet about the memorial service but as soon as we do I’ll post the details. The services will be next week sometime at Indian Creek Community Church.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers donation could be made to the Paul Kendall Memorial Fund at Cornerstone Bank, www.cornerstonebk.com. Thanks for your great support, prayers, gifts, food, cards, tweets, texts, Facebook notes, and personal visits. We feel your love and we love you right back.
If you want to read more details go to www.belindakendall.typepad.com and/or The Caring Bridge/visit/PauleKendall.