God has blessed me with yet another breath-taking sunrise to enjoy this morning. Today we are heading to Sarasota to pick up 87 year old Beth whom I myself am excited to meet.
I have had the pleasure of speaking with her 87 year old boyfriend, Richard and her niece Dorothy. They have both been working on helping to make Beth’s transport go as smoothly as possible.
It is pretty overcast as we begin our flight but eventually the blue skies win out and it is great to see the palm trees and water below as we fly into Sarasota.
We arrive at the hospice center where Beth has been for only a few short days. It is exquisite, beautifully decorated large rooms with dark wooden doors and fine furnishings. It looks and feels like a relaxing resort. The door to Beth’s room is closed and we are instructed it is because her dog is with her.
We open the door and find her, Richard and little Molly. Richard came in at 7 AM this morning so he could curl Beth’s hair and make sure she looks her best for her flight. He is very attentive, gentle and loving toward her. She is smiling brightly and excited to be returning to Logansport where her family is.
We load her up and she kisses Richard good bye as she tells him, “be careful driving, I wish you were going with me on the plane.” He will be leaving soon after us to drive both he and Molly back. As we get into the ambulance tears are streaming down his cheeks as he watches us drive away.
After Hal prayed, we piled into Nellie and took off. Beth slept for about a half an hour and then we chatted. She was married for 51 years and she and her husband ran a printing company. He passed away and they never had any children.
She and Richard met after they both retired in Florida about 6 years ago and have been together since. With Beth’s health declining she needs to be near her family and Dorothy runs a hospice center in Logansport so this will be perfect.
We held Beth’s hand and helped her with a cookie and some water. She has such a sweet disposition and it was such a joy just spending time with her. Her eyes and smile both glowed with kindness.
As we flew one of my favorite songs played in the background, “Cinderella, by Steven Curtis Chapman.” In the song a little girl asks her dad to please help her to practice her dancing for the upcoming ball at the castle. Her dad responds with, “I will dance with Cinderella (his little girl) while she is here in my arms, I don’t want to miss even one song for all too soon the clock will strike midnight and she will be gone.” (
These are such precious words and I find myself crying even as I type them. ) For whatever reason Beth never had children but as I looked at her, I could not help but think that she must have been “Cinderella” to her own father too, when she was just a little girl. Sometimes it is so easy to forget that older people weren’t always old, but, were once all precious little children to their parents too. Something I think we may all need to be reminded of at times.
Once we landed in Logansport I called both Dorothy and Richard to let them know we had arrived. Dorothy only lives a mile from the airport so our trip was quite short. There were a few family members there to greet Beth and as soon as she laid eyes upon Dorothy she cried with joy.
We placed her into bed and prayed. Dorothy was so thankful to have aunt Beth home and we left quietly as they enjoyed this moment together.
HOW PRECIOUS IS YOUR STEADFAST LOVE, O GOD! THE CHILDREN OF MANKIND TAKE REFUGE IN THE SHADOW OF YOUR WINGS.
Thank you to Hal and Todd for sharing this mission with me.
Shelli Engle RN