A smile so broad that it lights up the room, proudly sporting his Purdue hat and a gleam in his eyes!
These are the first things that I notice when I enter 91 yr. old Dwight’s room. Unable to speak with us verbally, the excitement on his face says it all! Surrounded by 3 of his children, he is ready to go. Today he will be relocating to Texas to be closer to his daughter, Vivian, of whom is very close to. His son Wendall has driven from Washington state to make the flight with us today.
As we leave, the goodbye’s are very emotional. Although these are 2 of his stepdaughters their love for him is evident through their tears and hugs. He and their mom had been married for 15 years until she recently passed away. As Dwight sleeps comfortably during our flight Wendall shares a story or two about his father. His parents were married for 50 years and raised 3 children before his mother passed away. Dwight remarried Alma after she too had lost her spouse. Both families had known each other for many years through their church and community. It was through this marriage that he had inherited 6 stepchildren.
A few years ago they moved into an assisted living facility after Dwight fractured his hip. During his rehab the staff were forced to split the two of them up and each was lost without the other. After a long 3 months they were finally reunited and allowed to share a room again except for the fact there were 2 separate beds. As the story goes, the next morning as the staff entered the room they found the 2 beds had been pushed together. They expressed their concerns to the family that the beds may separate and cause injury. The family simply asked if it would be OK if they just brought their parents bed from home to be put into their room. And so it happened, allowing them to sleep together once again.
As we land in Texas there is Vivian and her husband waiting patiently for us on the tarmac. We looked at Dwight and said “welcome to Texas.” There it is again, that ” million dollar” smile as Vivian rushes over to kiss her father. We arrive at Dwight’s new home and it is quite lovely and spacious. Not wanting to lie down anymore we put him in his new custom wheelchair that Wendall had specially designed for him. When I told them that we would like to pray with them his family said they would love that. After we said our goodbyes we began our exit down the hallway. I turned around briefly only to see Dwight shuffling his feet and propelling his way down the hall in that new chair. Yes, with his Purdue hat, broad smile and a gleam in his eyes!
What a great day God had blessed us with. Great weather, great company and great conversation some of which was not even verbal!
COL. 4:56 BE WISE IN THE WAY YOU ACT TOWARD OUTSIDERS; MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY. LET YOUR CONVERSATION BE ALWAYS FULL OF GRACE, SEASONED WITH SALT, SO THAT YOU MAY KNOW HOW TO ANSWER EVERYONE.
Thank you to Hal, Chet and Matt for sharing this mission with me
May the grace of God be with each of you
Shelli Engle RN