Today’s mission will take us to Frankenmuth, Michigan. For those of you who may be geographically challenged (like myself) it is located at the inner curve of the ” Michigan mitten” just at the base where the index finger joins the thumb. Go ahead…….look at your hand…….you know you want to.
We are here to get 87 year old William ( Larry) who will be moving to Raleigh to live with his son Joe and daughterinlaw Pat. Larry is quite adorable, all dressed for summer in a pair of shorts a Tshirt and his U.S. Marines ball cap proudly displayed atop his head.
Pat who herself is a recently retired nurse, will be traveling with us. Many staff members are saying their goodbyes to Larry as we make our through the hallways in an almost parade like fashion. You can definitely tell that he is a favorite here as they wish him well and he in turn gives them a ” thumbs up.”
After our drive to the airport, he gives us the ” thumbs up” as we place him on board Nellie. Larry rested intermittently during our flight giving opportunity for Pat to share a little about his life with us. He has lived in Michigan his entire life, married to his wife for 60 years before she passed away. He spent 2 years in the Marines and retired as a maintenance supervisor after 32 years. He has only the 1 son living.
He and his wife lost their daughter in 1994 after she lost her battle with leukemia. It was while she was receiving treatment that Pat met this family. She was one of the oncology nurses who helped to care for his daughter and met his son during this time. Ironically his wife and daughter passed away on the exact same day and at the exact same time 14 years apart. Our 2 hours seemed to go by quickly and Larry enjoyed the flight. He never complained and frequently gave his now famous ” thumbs up” when asked if he was comfortable or needed anything.
We had about a 45 minute ride together in the ambulance to the facility where he will stay for a week. During that time Larry and Pat will get everything in order at their home and then he will live with them. When we stepped through the front door of his temporary dwelling we were greeted and escorted by the friendly staff who had been awaiting our arrival. As we entered his room there was an elderly gentleman, Clarence, who would be his roommate.
Clarence was sitting in a chair and seemed very happy to meet Larry as his eyes lit up and a sweet smile came across his face. We all joined hands and prayed including Clarence.
Just before leaving, I leaned over and kissed Larry on the forehead and he smiled broadly and thanked us. I made my way over to Clarence and shook his hand and he thanked us for including him in our prayer.
1 PETER 5:14
GREAT ONE ANOTHER WITH A KISS OF LOVE.
PEACE TO ALL OF YOU WHO ARE IN CHRIST.
Thank you to Hal, Danny and Jason for sharing this mission with me. Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
Shelli Engle RN