What I mean by that is that it looks like things are on their way for the next phase. I’ve chosen Homeplace of New Bern as Jerry’s new earthly home. All signs lead there... the 99 year old resident, Presbyterian minister, named Ivan, who reads his Bible every day. (Ivan was my dad’s middle name); Calvary Baptist church services (Jerry grew up in a Calvary Baptist church), the director of nursing named Jerry, the happy residents and the feeling of home...and blue grass music once a month! (that was the final piece.) I visited again yesterday just to make sure I wasn’t delusional or something. I met with Kathy, the director, and Jerry, the director of nursing. They spent over an hour with me as we sat in the living room by the fireplace. I asked questions, like: how many showers per week, what do they do when Jerry wanders in the middle of the night, and end of life care. They reassured me at every turn, and then we proceeded to talk about what to do next. Right now, the rooms are full and Jerry is first on the list. This gives me time to prepare.
It turns out that Jerry, the nurse, lives about a mile away from us, so when the time comes, he’s going to come over for coffee and strike up a friendship with Jerry. That way, when he goes to his new home, he’ll recognized someone. (hopefully) Jerry also, cautioned me that the first month would be the hardest ..for me, especially. I tried to tell him that I was ready. I have acquiesced to the fact that I cannot handle Jerry’s needs anymore. He gently told me, that when I turn and walk away, I won’t be ready. He told me that there would be times when he doesn’t recognize me or when he gets angry. After every caution he gave me, he said, “But, he will be fine.”
This morning, I checked my facebook and saw all the precious comments and the healthy picture my daughter posted, along with “I miss you, dad.”
I’m at peace with this now. God is good. It’s now the long awaited phone call, then the good bye. For now, I am watching Jerry disappear, more and more, each day right before my eyes. His decline is evident, almost markable. It’s all coming together now and the runway lights are lighting up. It’s time to let go.