Today we arrived in Tampa to transport Mr. Cooper back to his home in Cincinnati. Mr. Cooper and his wife have been married for 64 years raising 3 daughters and 1 son. He being an only child inherited quite a family when he married his wife who was one of 17 siblings. Mr. Cooper worked for many years as a statistician before retiring.
With his health beginning to decline recently, he went to Florida to stay with his daughter Debbie. Unfortunately while he has been in Florida he has made several trips to the hospital for various reasons and the decision has now been made to bring him back to Ohio closer to other family members.
Upon our arrival to his hospital room the first thing I noticed was his kind smile and just past that there his daughter sat at his bedside keeping watch over him. Debbie and her father are very close and it is easy to see this immediately. We move Mr. Cooper onto our cot and monitor and off we go via ambulance to meet Nellie. Mr. Cooper tolerated the flight very well and we had a great conversation with Debbie as he rested.
Mr. Cooper is very strong in his faith bringing his children up in church. He had recently told Debbie that he had waited his whole life to be in the presence of Jesus and that he is ready for that time. She said she was in awe of how strong he is in his faith and that in the last several months that they had been together she could feel her own faith growing as she watched her father. What a wonderful testimony he is being.
We arrived in Cincinnati in the dark and made the short trip to the hospice center where he would be staying. The staff there were waiting with smiles on their faces to greet Mr. Cooper despite the time. Mr. Cooper thanked us again as he had done many times during our time together.
The staff there quickly attended to his needs and welcomed him. The nursing manager who too, had been there when we arrived, took Debbie aside to speak with her welcoming her as well. We hugged her as we left. Upon our departure from the hospice facility the receptionist was left there alone and as I told her goodbye the phone was ringing.
When I looked back to see why she had not yet answered her phone she was wiping tears from her eyes as she spoke these words, “thank you all so much for what you do, I am so moved by it that I cannot answer this call at this moment.” I, in turn thanked her for her generous time and services. As I rode back to Nellie I reflected on my time with Mr. Cooper and thought about how little he actually spoke during our time together.
It was not that he could not speak and maybe he was just too tired but he never failed to say “thankyou” for even the small things that we did for him. Although his words were few, they were words of gratitude, they had power behind them, they had impact! They were not just empty words like those that we can often find ourselves engaged in so many times. I will carry them with me and I am thankful to have spent time with him.
EVEN TO YOUR OLD AGE AND GRAY HAIRS I AM HE, I AM HE WHO WILL SUSTAIN YOU. I HAVE MADE YOU AND I WILL CARRY YOU; I WILL SUSTAIN YOU AND I WILL RESCUE YOU.
Thank you to Hal and Chris for sharing this mission with me.
Many blessings and may the God of grace and peace be with you.
Shelli Engle RN