No matter how prepared you are, words can’t begin to describe the feeling that accompanies a middle of the night phone call with the news.
It’s like a sucker punch to the gut, delivered with a gentle dose of love and relief.
We’ve been waiting on that phone call for quite awhile. I guess if the truth be known, it’s been about five years we’ve been waiting and wondering when the call would come. However, recent days have heightened the intensity and expectation as decisions were made to stop life extending medical interventions and let nature work her spirit-freeing genius.
The call came at about 1:30 am Friday morning. It was the hospital delivering the news we knew would be coming, and had even predicted the likelihood of it being this night. No surprise at all.
No tears. At least not yet. It’s the circle of life, Cox style.
Just a big dose of raw practical gratitude and relief.
Plus that feeling of being lovingly slugged in the stomach.
And the opportunity to pass on the sucker punch to other somewhat prepared, but not bullet-proofed guts.
The Call is actually a game of tag. We were tagged first this time. We then tagged the others. We became their gut-punch of love, relief, and sadness.
Thirty minutes after our phone first rang, we were back in bed planning on a peaceful night’s rest knowing THAT call would never come again.
There are just some things life skills class doesn’t teach you.
Like the fact that there is never just one phone call after a loved one passes.
And the phone calls will come at intervals designed to make sure you will not get that peaceful night’s rest tonight.
2:30 AM: “Would you like to donate his skin for skin grafts?”
Huh? It’s 87 years old and paper thin. Why would you even want it? Not exactly a decision to be made at 2:30 AM by only one of four brothers. Someone should have asked that about 3 days ago during daytime, wide-awake hours.
Another hour passed, our brains began to settle down just a bit, and the fit-full, mind-racing sleep almost overtook us again.
And the phone rang…..again.
It was Steve, the sweet guy who will graciously prepare our loved one for ceremony and burial asking my husband’s permission to begin his work. It never occurred to me that his night would be interrupted, too. However, I did give his precious wife the heads up Thursday evening that I thought Eric’s dad would pass before morning.
And so we are up. Coffee is made. It’s now 3:40 AM. Sleep will have to wait until later this afternoon when our bodies decide to slam us into the relaxing embrace of an easy chair.
Mama said there’d be days like this, but she forgot to mention there’d be a few nights, too.
Adios, Charlie. Give Alex a hug for us. You boys try to stay out of trouble up there, ya hear? Say hi to my Pappy, if you see him. He’ll be the one out hunting rabbits, dove, and pheasant.