Tuesday would be altogether different. When Dad awoke he was totally deaf. Within a short matter of time he couldn't even hear his own voice.
He asked in a shout, "Can you all hear me?" We assured him we could, and he started to talk:
"Get paper and pen and I will communicate with you as long as I can."
"I want you to know everything will be alright."
"I am at peace."
"The Comforter is within me."
"Even though I can't hear myself, I know my Lord can hear me."
By now, we were all crying our eyes out. So he continued:
"Don't cry. Be strong. We love each other and love is all that matters."
Then he broke into singing. Though he couldn't hear his own voice it was beautiful to God and his family. The two hymns he sang were "Must Jesus Bear The Cross Alone" and "Faith is the Victory!"
When the doctor came in, Dad told him "I love you." And then Dad asked "Is it unusual for me to go totally deaf overnight?" The doctor said, "Yes." Dad replied, "God is unusual, too." Smiles.
Tuesday afternoon, Dad was transported from hospital comfort care to the new community Hospice House. Until late in the evening Dad communicated to us audibly from his new beautiful room with both holy and humorous shouts, as we wrote messages back to him in the spiral notebook I bought at the drug store.
As I reflect this morning in the chapel at The Hospice House, I am humbled to think that the last voice my Dad heard was mine. Among the last audible sounds Dad heard were the two of us quoting The 23rd Psalm together. And the very final audible words he heard himself say, he spoke to me: "I love you." Those are also the very final audible words he heard from me.
Unusual? I don't think do. Not unusual for us at least.
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