Monday, May 30, 2011


One week ago today on May 22, 2011, my dad, Dale E. Smith went home to be with his Lord at 11:40 a.m.  We have lost a good and devoted husband, dad, brother and son!!  He is going to be missed by all of us who loved him.

The Friday before Sunday, I had the strangest feeling.  It was like someone was audibly talking to me yet they weren't.  I knew that I had to go to my parent's apartment as soon as I could get there.  I did not want my mother to be alone when Dad did pass away.

I got up on Saturday morning, packed and took off for Tuscola.  When I got there I was really surprised at the way my dad looked.  They had brought in a hospital bed just that week.  He looked at me but am not sure that he knew me.  I talked to him and held his hand.  Mother and I tried to keep the saliva that was forming in his mouth cleaned up.  I guess this is what happens when you cannot swallow or have not had a drink.  He was not eating or drinking by this time.  The saliva that we all have stays clear and thin but when you don't drink something then it becomes a thick white mess. I thought that it looked like white pudding.  Mother worked and worked trying to get it out of his mouth.  Sometimes he would let her help him but most of the time he just swallowed it back. 

He said that he thought he had done his pants.  We checked and found out that we needed something like adult diapers. I ran up to the store and brought some back.  Mother and I had a terrible time just trying to get them under him.  He was a very small man (around 130 lbs.) but very heavy.  WE struggled and struggled.  Finally I called a neighbor to help us lift him up.  We got it under him but could not get the tabs to work.  We ended up using some duct tape!!  It worked!!

We kept watching him.  Family was calling and I told them that they had better come NOW.  Mike, Becky, Julie, Maddie, Emily, Bill all came up Sunday morning.  We had just called the hospice nurse to tell her that we needed her to come.  She came and helped us give him some more moriphine.  We had not given him enough.  She upped it and told us to give more plus she had a medication that helped the saliva thin out!!  As soon as she left our family came.  We all went up to him and told him it was time for him to go now. 

Just a little bit before he passed, he held his right hand up in the air and then dropped it down. We think that he saw someone.  WE were talking and one of the kids said..Look!!  WE all turned around and we saw that Dad was leaving us. Becky had brought her stethoscope.  She ran over to him and listened and could not find a heart beat.  She said he is gone.  Mike said that he looked at the clock to make sure about the time...11:40 AM on the 22nd of May we lost our dad, grandpa, and husband!!  He went to be with God.  We knew that he was finally at rest. He could now walk and not be in any pain!  What a blessing to know that a few years back he had accepted Jesus as his Savior and had been baptized!!  We mourn our loss but we all know that he is in a better place now...

We called hospice and they called everyone that they had to call.  The funeral home came.  Mother and I went back into the bedroom while they took him to the funeral home.  Becky stayed with him while they were in Mother's apartment.  Julie and Bill took the younger granddaughters out just so they would not have to see all of this.  They had just seen their great grandfather pass away!!  It was so good that a large portion of his family were with him at the end.

Monday came and Mother and I had to go to the funeral home and make all of the arrangements.  We tried to pick out what we thought that Dad would like.  Then the next day our family arrived!!  So nice to see them all.  My brother, Ron and his wife and daughter came from Arizona.  Jon and his wife Maria also came.

The funeral was set for Thursday the 26th!! WE woke up to a very rainy and gray day.   Dad really looked good.  Many people came to pay their respects to Mother and our family.  Pastor Mike Rutledge did the service.  We had people tell of the fun times that they had with Dad.  It was a very nice service.  WE had thought we would not get to go to the graveside but it stopped raining just long enough for us to go.

WE had 2 military men there.  They stood at the head and the foot of the casket. After Dad's friend played taps, the soldiers carefully folded our American flag.  The one soldier handed it to the other and he bent down and presented it to Mother.  This whole ceremony was very sad!!  The rain stayed away until we had all filed out and drove back to the Tuscola Museum for our dinner.

The women at the Museum had cooked a very nice meal for everyone that wanted to attend.  Dad and Mother have volunteered there for 25 years.  They all felt like they owed something to my dad.

Now it is over a week since all of this happened.  I am so thankful that Dad had us all there when he passed from this life into a new one.

He was my hero!!  All little girls think that their dads are their heros!!  Mine was in the second world war.  He was wounded and received the purple heart!!  He never talked much about it till the later years of his life.  Mother recorded him speaking and then wrote it all down.  He was in a foxhole the day that he found out that I was born.  He told me that he stood up to tell everyone.  A buddy of his said that he had better get down or he would not see his new baby!!  My dad also named me.  He saw a little girl on a train.  Her name was Sandra Lee.  He wrote to Mother and told her if they had a little girl that he wanted her to be named Sandra Lee.  Mother was going to name me Billie Kay!!  Somewhere I have a woman to thank for my name. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Taken in Savannah, Ga.

Monday again!!  A start of a new week!!  Our weather here has been just awful so anything new would be good for sure!! 

I am now on a cane...I can say that is better than a walker or a wheel chair.  I have not much enjoyed thse past 2 months but I do know that I have learned some life lessons.  I think that is one of the reasons that things like this happen to us.  I don't believe that God made me fall I do not believe that I just mean that we go through this types of happenings in our lives only to come out on the other side a changed but wiser person. At least that is what I hope I will see.  I already do see some things and I am sure more is going to be coming my way.  Another thing is that we need to be looking for these things.  Looking helps us to see what God wants us to see and remember.  I think sometimes that this is the reason some people cannot see God working!!  Open our eyes that we may see!! 

I am still having a time with living here in Illinois.  I love Illinois after all this is where I was born and lived for years.  Mike and I were talking the other day at lunch and I was reminded what Paul said in the bible. 

Philippians 4:11-13 (King James Version)

11Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever STATE I am, therewith to be content.
12I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

I first learned this verse in the King James Version...It says here in whatsover state I be content.  I told Mike that I was content in the STATE of Georgia..Now I am learning to be content in the STATE of Illinois!!  I know of course this is not what Paul meant EXACTLY!!  But it is what I want to see in these verses for now.  I am trying to be content.  I have not been able to get out much or make any friends and believe me that is the hardest part of moving...Making new friends and getting involved in things that will keep me busy.

Also that verse tells us that I can do all things through Christ because he is strengthening me...Again, we have to learn this lesson.  As I age though I am beginning to understand these principles more and more.  Take one day at a time just like my husband has always told me to do and I will be happy!!  EASY!!

My dad is starting to get worse day by day. He is very weak and cannot stand on his legs anymore.  Mother is trying her best to take care of him.  I think that they will be getting a hospital bed this week from Hospice.  Mike and i went to see them Saturday.  Dad told me right away that he was not worth anything...I so hate this for my paretns.  Both of them are trying to keep things together but it is getting so hard especially for Mother.  She is going through depression which I can easily understand.  I just wish that there was more that I could do for her. Dad wants to pass away at home so that is what Mother will do.  She wants to let him do whatever he wants.  What a time this is!! 

Mike is back to work today full time!!  This is his 3rd week back at work.  The first two weeks were part time!  He has jumped right back into the selling part and bringing in money for Lowe's...which they are grateful for.  He is walking pretty well but still having pain/ache.  Time is going to be what he needs yet.

That is about it from us here!!  As always I have been rambling but that is what I do anymore.  Ramble from here to there.  Waiting for Home care to come now and hoping to be released!!  I need to get back to driving...soon...please!!

Thougth for the day:  The advantage of exercising every day is so when you die, they'll say, Well, she looks good doesn't she.'  SMILE!!