I'm one of these people that feels like I've got to do something when I know others are hurting. I have to be there. I have to cry, too. I have to do. And with Angie still in Alabama and me here in Louisiana, I just feel so helpless.
Angie knew that she would be fortunate if her Dad made it through until the day of the wedding. He was 83 and had Alzheimer's. He had recently been in the hospital and was eventually sent home. Home Health was coming by and Angie's mom, who is 81 and not in the best health herself, was taking care of her husband of 64 years. After the last hospital stay, her dad was no longer conscious. He stopped eating and drinking last Monday and had been put on morphine.
Angie made two trips to north Alabama within two weeks in May to be with her parents and to help her mom. It killed her that she lived so far away and couldn't be near them. She knew what was to come even though she didn't want to accept it. I prayed so hard that he would just live until after the wedding. It didn't happen. When I woke up Saturday morning, I had a text from Angie's husband that her dad had died at 12:15 that morning. Her mom had called at six to tell them the news.
Angie and I texted off and on Saturday morning until she had to get ready for the ceremony. I knew she was hurting and upset and my heart just broke for her. We were the first guests to arrive at the wedding venue. Angie was helping her in-laws decorate the reception area and when we saw each other, we both just burst out crying. We just hugged one another and cried. I was worried that she wouldn't make it through the ceremony. But she did. And beautifully, too. She had her moments when she had what we both refer to as "a meltdown," but for the most part, she was able to hold it together.
Robbie and Angie left after the wedding and headed to New Hope, Alabama. I think they got there at 2 AM Sunday morning. Wayne, Alise, and I headed back home to unload, repack and we headed to Alabama on Sunday morning at 7:45, after we visited and had an early breakfast with my dad for Father's Day. We made it to Cullman, Alabama - where Wayne's relatives live - around 3 o'clock. Later that evening, we went to the funeral home. Alise stayed with Doug and Mirya and we are so thankful for our family for letting us stay with them and for keeping Alise so that we could be with our friends. It was an hour drive to New Hope and it seemed to me like it took forever to get there. Angie had texted me earlier that day and asked me if I thought it was okay if she wore a pink dress to the funeral home. She didn't have a black dress and Robbie had left his sports coat at home, so they had to buy clothes in Huntsville for the funeral. All I can say is that the night and following day at the funeral were just sad. So sad. I spoke to Mrs. Janie and much to my surprise, she remembered me.
I spoke to Angie before the funeral and told her that we wouldn't be able to go to the cemetary after the funeral. We had to get back because we both had to go back to work on Tuesday. Then the funeral director came in and said that everyone needed to leave so that the family could have a few moments before the funeral started. Angie lost it and just held on to me. All I could say was that I loved her and that I was so sorry. I felt like I said "I'm sorry" a thousand times over the last month.
I know it may be a horrible thing to say, but I think there is a sense of relief that Angie's dad has passed away. His care and sickness has taken its toll on the family. They need rest, love and support in the following days. They will be some of the hardest days they will face.
Please continue to pray for this family.