We are starting out this mornings mission right here in Noblesville. We are on our way to pick up 72 year old Bob.
Bob has been living here at a very nice facility for a few years due to some health issues and has now been put on hospice care. His wife recently moved to Nebraska to be near one of their daughters. As Bob’s health has begun to decline it has made it necessary to move him out near his family. Bob is very excited about this move. I am told he normally does not wake up until around 11 am but when we arrive at 8:30 he is awake and excited.
The staff are saying their goodbyes and snapping pictures of “Uncle Bob” as they affectionately refer to him. We joked as we rode in the ambulance that the ambulance ride was half as long as the flight will be. During the ride he asks for his hat the reads, “retired air force” and he proudly places it on his head. At the airport we stop briefly prior to boarding Nellie for Hal to lead us in prayer.
During the flight I told Bob that if he would like he could rest because I knew that this was quite early for him. He quickly replied, ” oh, no I want to watch out of the window.” We raised the head of his bed up as high as possible to allow his to see out of his window. So, as we flew we chatted quite a bit. Bob shared that he had been a flight engineer on a C130 while spending 25 years in the United States Air Force.
He had spent time in Vietnam and North Korea. He was forced into retirement after he had a heart attack several years ago. He and his wife Bonnie have been married 51 years and have 2 daughters. One living in Nebraska and the other in Florida along with several grandchildren. He and Bonnie loved to travel and at one time had an RV and spent a lot of time going across the United States and much of Canada.
He shared that he loved to fish and how lucky he was that Bonnie too loved it. The two of them were big “Gaither” fans and used to follow them around from city to city to hear them sing. He told me that hoped the new place he would be going to would have a bed for Bonnie too. He took in all of sites as we talked and he thoroughly enjoyed the flight.
It was a very short drive to where his new home would be and just before we got out of the ambulance he looked at me and said, “I am looking at this as the first day of the rest of my life.” As we walked into the front door there were Bonnie and Jennifer. His eyes lit up as Bonnie came over to give him a kiss and Jennifer stood with tears in her eyes as she observed her mom and dad.
This new facility that they had selected was beautiful and everyone seemed very kind and friendly. Both Bonnie and Jennifer thanked us and so did Bob that he was finally near his family. We all gathered around his bed including the new staff that would be caring for him as they joined us in prayer.
LET NO DEBT REMAIN OUTSTANDING,
EXCEPT THE CONTINUING DEBT TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER,
FOR WHOEVER LOVES OTHERS HAS FULFILLED THE LAW.
Many thanks to Hal, Ken and Eric for sharing this mission with me. May the God of grace and peace be with you.
Many Blessings Shelli Engle RN