Saturday, August 31, 2013

One, Two, Un-Buckle My Shoe

My Father At Graduation 1948
On Saturday August 17th, 2013, two hours into another arduous dialysis run my father called his nurse over and told her to unhook him, he was done.

A new journey had begun. The nurse called me, and I met dad at the rehab facility. "I want to go see Mary", were the first words out of his mouth. He usually calls my mother, "mommy" or "mom". This was serious business, I knew he meant it this time.

My older brother, David, needed a break. Just one weekend to recoup, regroup, caregiving is hard work. If you read the post,"Due To Circumstances Beyond Our Control", you will know why he needed a respite. His lovely wife Sandy, made the weekend special (I heard), yay Sandy.  So, I called my younger brother and let him know what was going on.

My younger brother lives in San Antonio, and is exempt from caregiving. He is not exempt from worrying, fretting, feeling guilt at not being able to be there. He loves our parents with the same ferocity his brother and I do. He consoled me, and started making plans to get here.

Since father had changed his mind many times (living with terminal disease is HARD), I waited until Monday to have the doctor call hospice. My "adopted" sister named Kathy was with me. "When should I have my little brother come out", I asked the doctor. "Ten minutes ago," remarked the doctor. Kathy lost it for a minute, I was strangely calm (this time). The doctor told us, "He will not last three days."

I cannot say enough kind words about "Hoffman Hospice" (click link to see webpage). On Tuesday we met and within hours our father was in the comfort of his own home. Nurses, aides, chaplains, social workers, bathers, you name it, we were treated to first class service. The goal, " Dying with dignity intact." They did a grand job.

It was so very surreal. Dad had a strawberry milkshake, (thanks Kathy). We played Zonk (a dice game). People came, people went, days passed. My Aunt Margaret, his sister came, and he comforted her in his big brother fashion. How sweet it was to see him put his hand on her back and pat it with brotherly affection, their heads close together in quiet conversation. My brothers and I fully expected the old gent to get up and say, "I was just kidding," at one point.

Then the real business of dying began. My father's smile can light up a room, no really, it can. When people would come he would look up in response to their greeting. A smile would radiate from his face and then an "Oh Hi". We don't know if he recognized all (though he did call my sweet sister-in-law Donna, Texas). But he greeted everyone with a smile and a warmth in those big baby blues.

Then all responses stopped. He lay there with his big, arthritis ridden, work worn hands, resting on top of the sheets. We prayed for his final journey to be swift, and yet, he lay there breathing with little shallow breaths. All activity seemed to cease, as we waited with baited breath for him to take his last.

To say that we were all tired is an understatement. We were ready for him to meet mom in heaven, at the same time hoping for the miraculous (but only if he was completely "well", no diabetes, no kidney failure, no congestive heart failure, etc.). We all ask God for a lot, don't we? And usually on our terms. God must shake his head a lot.

At 3:20 A.M., Thursday, August 29th,2013,  David George Sampson took his last breath on earth. I'm sure he was greeted by a multitude of friends, loved ones, and relatives. He hastily flung his hefty crown at our Lord's feet, and started to explore the wonders of heaven. Ever the carpenter, fisherman, and father figure he is walking the streets of gold, and greeting new and old friends. He's with mom at last, never to be parted. We love you, dad. Give mom a kiss for us.

A special thanks going out to my cousin Patsy, and our "adopted" sister Kathy Stephens. You guys are my idols, and thank you for always being there for us. You have helped all along the way even before the final journey began. You are special and loved, and must have huge old crowns waiting in heaven.

Also, thank you to the Lara's, mom and dad's neighbors. You gave them a feeling of security for many, many years. You watched out for them when no one was around. You are our angels unawares.

 Another thanks to our Pastor Ken Wilcox, and his wife Collece. May all your dreams for Sonrise Church of God come true........ I wish you could have known our mom and dad when they labored at the church, dad, even before his salvation....

Soon, I will get back to the business of Mobley. I hope you will follow along.

Blessings, Theresa


  1. Oh Theresa....I am so very sorry to hear of your father's passing. At least you can take comfort in knowing he is in the arms of God now and with your dear mother. Hospice is wonderful! My father-in-law passed away with cancer in December 2011 and he died comfortably and with dignity in the care of Hospice. They are amazing! My sister, who is a registered nurse began working with Hospice earlier this year and she just loves it. I can't say enough good things about them and I so happy to hear your family had a good experience as well. May the peace and comfort only God can provide surround you at this time.

    Blessings my friend, Vicky
    Life On Willie Mae Lane

  2. So sorry for your loss but it sounds like it was Heaven's gain. You are so blessed to have had your Dad for so long. I lost my Dad when I was 11 and Mother when I was 30. Their passing still hurts like it was yesterday. Praying for you and your family.

  3. Hey Theresa, just had you on my mind today and thought I would send well wishes your way. Still praying for you and your family. Looking forward to seeing new posts from you and hearing about Mobley.

  4. Theresa ... this was a beautiful tribute to your Dad. I know you miss him, but just knowing how happy he must be right now has to bring you such great comfort. It was a Blessing to read this.


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