Daddy, I Can’t Wake Mama Up

The night of December 11-12 was quiet. Lynette did not wake me up in the night. When I woke up that morning, she appeared to be sleeping peacefully. I decided to let her sleep and began my morning activities. About an hour later, Luke came downstairs and uttered the worst words ever: “Daddy, I can’t wake Mama up.”

My first response was “it’s too soon!” The nursing evaluation of the previous day certainly hadn’t indicated any imminent distress. We were getting ready for at least several weeks of at home care. Sarah was on her last day of exams at Millsaps. We were expecting her home later that afternoon. I called the hospice nurse, then began calls to Sarah, Lynette’s sisters, and my family.

The first person to arrive was the hospice home health aide. She examined Lynette and said “She’s expired.” That’s always struck me as an exceptionally odd way to put it. It implies Lynette had passed her “sell by” date. That definitely wasn’t true.

Lynette’s friend Elizabeth was on her way from Ocean Springs. Our District Superintendent Connie Shelton was on her way from Jackson. They arrived soon, as did the hospice nurse. The nurse began doing the necessary paperwork and notification of the coroner. I called Chancellor Funeral Home. Lynette’s friend Fred worked with Chancellor and he and Bill Chancellor arrived. One thing I’ll always remember is that as the folks from Chancellor were leaving with Lynette’s body, our dog Sam, who had otherwise observed the comings and goings quietly, suddenly began barking. He was going to miss his Mama too.

About jaltman81

United Methodist Clergy
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