Today we were blessed by being able to transport 89 year old Allie from an extended care facility in Tennessee back to Indiana to be closer to her daughter Rita. Rita shared that her mom Allie had come to the facility in Tennessee in 2003 while she was in a coma. After 3 months, she awoke around 2:30am she was asking for a cheese sandwich. When Rita got that call she could hardly believe it.
Over the coarse of the following years Rita, who happens to be a nurse, took a job in Indiana and traveled faithfully every 3 weeks to Tennessee to be with her mom Allie. What a great picture of her love and dedication to her mom which brings to mind how God our Father is so faithful to us His children never leaving us. As you can imagine, all of this traveling had taken quite a toll on Rita and t was now time to move Allie closer.
When we arrived at Allie’s bedside, she was dressed in a pretty purple outfit and wearing a beautiful pearl necklace. As Matt stood at her bedside she asked him if he was her husband (did I mention she had dementia). We quickly straightened her out where that was concerned and then her daughter Rita informed us that she was quite partial to men
It was a beautiful sunny Saturday and we loaded Allie and Rita onto the plane. The flight was smooth and uneventful Allie had no complaints at all. She simply smiled and enjoyed the view. During the flight, Rita shared with me that Allie was a retired Director of Nursing and that she also used to travel with her husband’s small band and sing occasionally. She also told me that her mom had taken some flying lessons when she was younger (which might explain why she patted both our pilot Hal and co-pilot Jim as they passed through the plane).
Rita voiced how thankful she was to Grace on Wings for allowing this move to take place and especially how helpful Matt and Mike had been during their phone conversations. I was able to at least share a picture of Mike with her so she could put a face with the name (thank goodness for cell phones!)
Once we were back on the ground and enroute to her new home we gave Allie her olive wood cross and as she held it close looking at it she said, “Jesus died on the cross.” What a sweet reminder that even through her dementia she still remembers the purpose of the cross. We tucked her in and hugged her good-bye I too was able to get a hug out of her even though I was not one of the guys.
What a privilege and joy to serve Allie, Rita and all of God’s people through this ministry that He so richly continues to bless. We as believers know that Jesus did more that just die on the cross but that He was buried and rose again. That tomb is empty and HE LIVES! PRAISE GOD!
IN HIS NAME,
Shelli Engle RN