I wish i could see you!

  1. 7

    What does a nurse do when a dying patient gets married at the bedside but then wants his last sacraments and a wish?

    I wish i could see you!

    Mr. Francis Ross’s eyes were closed, his breathing shallow. I walked into his room. He was surrounded by his family. To the outside world they looked like a very close knit family. I knew better, bearing witness to the daily infighting inside and outside that hospital room. The reason was very simple. Francis was dying, was a DNR and the family stood to gain a lot of money. There was a tiny hitch. The ex-wife Clarissa had showed up now professing undying love for him. She claimed that he was going to get better and that she would nurse him back to health. Francis clung on to her and her words. His children could not stand her; calling her a fake, gold digger. They felt that he could not see past her honeyed talk. Matter of fact, he could not see as he was blind now. The diabetes had claimed his eyes.

    Francis had left his wife to marry Clarissa when he was a hot shot lawyer. His wife died a few years later and their children held that against him. Later when his luck and money were down Clarissa left him, divorced him and got married to someone else younger and richer. Francis realized his mistake, reached out to his children and mended his fences. For the next 20 years as he got sicker, his kids took turns to bring him to the hospital. This seemed to be his last visit as he was in multi organ failure. No medical treatment was working. Somehow, Clarissa found out and was back in his life.

    The evening before, I heard that there had been a bedside wedding. The children had found out that Clarissa was back in their father’s life and were livid. Looking at the fatigue on Francis face, I gently herded the group out of the unit and went back to him. His BP was low and his labs had looked real bad. Since he was on palliative care we were giving comfort measures only as per his wishes.

    “Annie?”

    “Yes, Francis?”

    “I need your help.”

    “What can I do to help you?”

    “I need a priest. Can you get me one?”

    “May I ask why?”

    “I want to get my last sacraments and confess. I know I am dying .Aren’t you Catholic?”

    “Yes! Let me see what I can do. How do you feel about dying?”

    “What can I do? I can’t change it. I want to talk to a priest.”

    I called our hospital page operator who had all the on call and on duty pager numbers. The priest had gone on vacation to Africa and would not be back for 2 weeks. The backup number went to a message center. I called the Nursing Supervisor and asked for help. She made a few calls but could not get anyone. I then thought of calling my local parish priest who looked like a Chuck Norris double. Father Nick aka Chuck Norris, was a young and energetic priest. Bless his heart; he made that half an hour ride in 15 minutes and got preferred parking by the hospital entrance as I had called security at the front desk.

    Father gave him his last rites and he was at peace. I thanked father and he left. I allowed the family to take turns to visit and then leave. Clarissa left saying that she would be back after a quick shower. Four hours passed, no Clarissa. Francis condition was worsening although he remained alert throughout. It was almost time for me to leave. I gave report to RN Joan Wallace. Also updated her that Clarissa may return after her shower! I went to Francis’s room.

    “Goodnight Francis! See you tomorrow!”

    “Annie will you come in here please!” I stepped closer.

    “Can I give you a hug? Thank you for calling father Chuck Norris (I had told him that Father Nick was a Norris double!). I feel so peaceful”. We chuckled softly in perfect accord.

    “Sure, Francis, I love hugs! You are very welcome!” I hugged him gently as he was all skin and bones.

    “I wish I could see you child!”

    “You never know Francis, you just might! Remember our motto; never lose hope. Bye Francis!”

    “Bye! Annie! Bless you!” Hoping to see him the next day, I left. It took me half hour to reach home. Thankfully I got a parking on the street after a couple of drive arounds. Walking into the quiet apartment; I let a sigh of relief. The day was over. As it was summer, the sky was still bright and there was plenty of sunshine in the room. My husband had taken the older two who were toddlers then, in the double stroller for a walk in the park and was not back. As I sat down in my living room and untied my shoe laces, I froze. I could feel a presence in the room but could not see anyone. The air was still and expectant. In my bones, I felt, I knew it was as if someone was watching me. Strangely, I was unafraid and it felt peaceful and not scary. I instinctively looked at the clock. The time was 8.42pm.

    “Francis, if that is you, go in peace to God! I guess you can see me now! Glad you got me with only my shoes off!” I was unaware of the tears trickling down my face as I smiled at my weak joke. Just as it came, it was gone. I hurriedly removed my shoes, washed my hands and picked up the phone. I called my unit and asked for Joan Wallace. Joan picked up the phone.

    “Annie, you won’t believe this!” she said in a rush.

    “Remember Francis, that sick guy in room 684?”

    “Yes?’

    “He just passed. The Nursing Attendant went to take his vitals and found him pulseless. The doctor pronounced him. He is calling Clarissa and his children now.”

    “What time was he pronounced?” I asked quietly.

    “Around 8.40pm” How on earth did he know where I lived, I wondered. I sat and said a prayer for his soul. As I pondered on the visit, I realized that he had made his wish come true as anything was possible now that he no longer was burdened by his earthly body. As I opened the door to welcome my noisy family back and hugged the kids and their dad, I whispered to the still air, “It was good to see you Francis! Remember, never lose hope! With hope, all things are possible!”
    Do you like this Article? Click Like?

  2. Visit spotangel profile page

    About spotangel, BSN, MSN

    Mother, nurse ,writer. Loves God, family, books and coffee!

    Joined Mar '12; Posts: 196; Likes: 807.

    Read My Articles

    7 Comments

  3. by   GadgetRN71
    My dad died at about 1:30 am. When I got home I lay down and tried to sleep. All of a sudden I felt like someone had their hand on my arm..it was cold, but not unpleasant. My mom said that she heard my dad calling her name..
  4. by   3ringnursing
    I love your articles. Most make me smile, and all are worth reading.

    Maybe you had a soul connection? Address and Google maps not required.

    I can't help but hope that the probate judge found Clarissa to be a gold-digger, and fraud, finding their sickbed wedding to be a sham. Maybe even sentenced her to 5000 hours of community service cleaning toilets in a maximum security prison with her own toothbrush!
  5. by   spotangel
    Quote from 3ringnursing
    I love your articles. Most make me smile, and all are worth reading.

    Maybe you had a soul connection? Address and Google maps not required.

    I can't help but hope that the probate judge found Clarissa to be a gold-digger, and fraud, finding their sickbed wedding to be a sham. Maybe even sentenced her to 5000 hours of community service cleaning toilets in a maximum security prison with her own toothbrush!
    Lol! That was pretty much what the team said in private!
  6. by   spotangel
    Quote from 3ringnursing
    I love your articles. Most make me smile, and all are worth reading.

    Maybe you had a soul connection? Address and Google maps not required.

    I can't help but hope that the probate judge found Clarissa to be a gold-digger, and fraud, finding their sickbed wedding to be a sham. Maybe even sentenced her to 5000 hours of community service cleaning toilets in a maximum security prison with her own toothbrush!
    Classic! Lol! Own toothbrush ! Priceless!
  7. by   maybug
    As a hospice nurse, I have had several spiritual experiences with my dying patients that can only be explained as Godly moments. I will never forget them. This story was so special and brought tears to my eyes.
  8. by   spotangel
    Maybug it takes a special soul to tend to hospice patients. God bless you for the difference you make on a daily basis in their lives! It takes a special courage to serve this group. In the circle of life we tend to focus on birth more than death even though it is a circle. Thank you for providing care and compassion as they close their book of life.
  9. by   spotangel
    Quote from GadgetRN71
    My dad died at about 1:30 am. When I got home I lay down and tried to sleep. All of a sudden I felt like someone had their hand on my arm..it was cold, but not unpleasant. My mom said that she heard my dad calling her name..
    Sorry about your dad. Hugs!

close