I've had this picture on my laptop tucked in the corner since Bubba first became ill in February. It has been a reminder to pray for him daily, to think of him and Nana, to remember how much I love my family.
We don't talk a lot about dying well. About dying with dignity and honor. We tend to live in the optimism and hope of eventual healing and wellness. And medical advances have put us into places with options that make further decisions incredibly more difficult. But the truth is that we are temporal creatures...yet we hold on to what we know. I admit, it seems hard to grasp the idea that I will one day not exist in this physical form, all I know is the blood pumping through my heart and the air moving in and out of my lungs. I love Jesus with everything inside of me, and I know that I was made to be with him....it's hard to imagine what that will one day look like.
Bubba is a man of honor and strength. This man was born in 1930's New York, orphaned by age 5, raised by an aunt, eventually settling into service with the Coast Guard. He spent years volunteering with Special Olympics in ice skating and played street hockey complete with rollerblades until well into his sixties. Forty years ago he became deathly ill and had half a stomach and half of a lung removed. Twelve years ago he suffered a stroke and fought his way back into walking, eating, and talking. He has had macular degeneration and has spent the last few years having injections of botox put directly into his eyeballs to help stop the disease. He knows how to fight, how to hope, and when to say enough is enough. I hope that we as a family can be strong for him. Strong enough to allow him these choices, strong enough to support his decisions, strong enough to let him go.