I got a phone call last night while we were on our way home from church. My neighbor called to tell me that one of our elderly neighbors was going to be moving on Monday with her husband and would be out of the area and also that the wife's health was not improving but getting worse.
Our very friendly neighbor, Esther, has been battling Leukemia for many years and her body just can't fight it anymore. She has been hanging on and fighting so hard, going through treatments, getting transfusions and she just isn't getting help from all the different things that can be offered. She was staying around here because of Mayo and all that they offered and loved that it was just down the road for her to go and get the medical treatment that was helping her for so long. Her doctors told her that there was nothing left that they could do for her though and that her treatment was done.
The husband has some memory loss but has been living at home and the wife has been taking care of him. He will be 88 this year but at times just can't remember much or what happened earlier in the day which has been heartbreaking for Esther.
Esther made us feel welcome in this neighborhood. She has been here the entire time and I had the chance last night to go visit her at St. Mary's last night (part of Mayo) with a few other neighbors to make sure that we had a chance to say goodbye. She will be let out of the hospital on Monday and will come to her house briefly to make sure that everything that is needed has been packed up and will then go on to their new home up in the cities where they will receive the care that they both need from nurses.
As the 5 of us sat in her room last night, we listened to this wonderful lady talk about her life and all the wonderful experiences that she has had. She is a very generous person and is always thinking about other people. She had a blood transfusion on Monday and they usually give her some energy for a bit...this time, she felt no change. She knew that she was going to be done with this part of the treatment, even though the doctors offered her another one, she declined. She said that she knew other people needed this blood and her body just didn't need it anymore.
Through our conversation, Esther mentioned more times than once how important her friends and her family have been for her. Earlier that day she had 3 friends visit her who graduated from high school with her. They don't live in this area but they all decided that they would get together for their 60th class reuion. She loved having them come and visit her and treasured their friendship. On Friday, all of her family came to visit her as well...even the very busy grandkids that are in highschool and have such crazy schedules. She was so glad to have them all come and you could just tell from the sound in her voice.
I am pretty sure that I probably won't get to say another goodbye to Esther before she passes away...she said she wasn't given a length for how much time she has left here but she knows that it isn't too long. I am glad that I got a chance to visit with her last night though and have a chance to talk with her at least one more time. I will remember the words that she told all of us...she still had her spunky attitude and voice. :)