25 March 2014


...it was a year ago. In the late morning, they decided to move Jo out of ICU into a small room that was all too familiar to me. Marianne had died there some years earlier. I asked if we could bring her home. We knew she may not make it, but with help from hospice, we got Jo back home. We set up a bed in the living room. Sandy and Russ, Dee and Deb had arrived Monday. This was Tuesday. Holy Tuesday. Lauren and Sawyer arrived and said their goodbyes. And thus the vigil began.

The lot fell to poor Dee. Jo gave none of the usual signs. We'd warned her what to expect, but nothing like that happened. She just stopped breathing. We ran over next door, but she was gone. Then the hours of waiting for what happened next began. The hospice nurse. The funeral director and hearse. Meeting with pastor. I'd done this how many times as a pastor? I couldn't even begin to guess. But now I was sitting there with Cindi, Deb, Dee and Dave. We were all so empty inside. So exhausted and still trying to take it all in.

Now it is a year later. Jo has three new great grandchildren she never got to meet. A wedding of a grandson she didn't get to attend. A family reunion she had so looked forward to and that we all attended for her.

Every time we sit down to play liverpool or enjoy a family meal, her presence is huge by its absence. Meaghan and David framed the picture that Meaghan took of all of us that last time we were all together, before Lauren, Dean, and Sawyer moved away. It hangs over the mantel and right smack dab in the center is Joanne. She'll always be the center, even when she's not physically here anymore.

Rest in peace, Joanne. We love you. We miss you. We will never be the same without you. I'm glad your sufferings have come to an end, but not a day goes by when we don't think of you, miss you.


Jewel Tuey said...

I always enjoyed when Jo Ann came to the dental office. She was a beautiful person,inside and out.

Anonymous said...

I have heard you speak of Jo on Issues, Etc; She was very much loved by her family.