It is a lovely chilly morning this morning here in Denver. The skies are overcast with some intermittent light rain and a crisp 42 degrees. (Just perfect in my opinion.) We are on our way to pick up our patient.
94 year old George and his sister were born and raised in Palestine, Texas. Their father worked on the railroad and his mom made the best homemade cottage cheese ever he tells me.
He went off to the war and spent 2 years between France and Germany serving in the United States Army. While stationed there he was instrumental in helping to break the German Enigma Code. He also met and married his bride of 60 years, Rieke.
Eventually the two moved to Colorado where they raised their son and daughter. Rieke was a ballerina and later a choreographer. Their daughter Clarissa followed in her mom’s footsteps and their son went on to be an attorney.
Clarissa now wants her father closer to her so that she can help to oversee his medical care and spend time with him. Her mom passed away several years back and up until 8 months ago George was still living on his own at home and doing very well.
After falling at home he was placed into this current rehab center.
We arrived to pick George up this morning to find him sitting up in the chair. Clarissa’s husband Carlos will also be flying with us. George is completely dressed in a very nice button down blue plaid shirt which matches his blue eyes quite nicely.
His hair is gray and thinning a bit. He is slightly hard of hearing but wears no hearing aids or glasses. For being 94 years old he is in great shape. His only real deficit is that his legs are weak, making it difficult to support him. He is most definitely as sharp as a tack !!
We return to the airport with George and Carlos and board Abe. As we take off George watches closely out the window. We chatted about life in general with both he and Carlos, all enjoying our conversation. Carlos said that George would only be about 2 miles from he and Clarissa. George watched the clouds float by for much of his flight. In what seemed like no time at all, we had reached Nebraska.
As the ambulance transported us to the new facility George’s main concern was what they would be serving for dinner. That gave us a good laugh. The facility was beautiful. Each hallway was referred to as a “neighborhood” having its own designated seating area complete with overstuffed comfy sofas and warm snuggly fireplaces.
There was a self-serve ice cream area. (I found myself thinking that this place could be great for my future !) Seriously, I am confident that George is going to amazing care here the staff seemed very compassionate and genuinely happy to have him.
Clarissa and Carlos are already looking forward to taking their father out and about whenever possible.
As we transferred George into his new recliner he quickly noticed his book collection sitting on the shelf where his family had placed it. From across the room he could read the book titles. I was very impressed.
I knelt down and prayed for George and his family then kissed him on the forehead as we left. Without saying a word it was evident by the gentle tears that flowed down his cheeks at how grateful he was.
IT IS THE LORD YOUR GOD YOU MUST FOLLOW, AND HIM YOU MUST REVERE. KEEP HIS COMMANDS AND OBEY HIM; SERVE HIM AND HOLD FAST TO HIM.
Thank you to Hal and Jason for sharing this mission with me.
Shelli Engle RN