I've been away from this blog now for over 2 years, and it's about time I wrapped it up. I will leave this blog up for a while, because the story of Garrett, as told through Facebook posts by his father, Frank, is a powerful one.
Frank went to be with his sons, Garrett and Brandon, and Garrett's wife Jennifer, on Dec. 29, 2014. He had been in the hospital over Christmas, in a lot of pain, and getting weaker. Christmas was on Thursday that year, and Frank came home on Friday evening, admitted to the Hospice program. I was fortunate to have the weekend off, so was able to drive down to Birmingham to stay a few days.
As the weekend progressed, so did Frank. He was able to talk with his grandsons Saturday afternoon, but by Sunday, he was restless and confused, and barely speaking. We contacted anyone who wanted to see him one last time, and Sunday evening the house was full of friends and family. There were a few tears, but there was a lot of laughter and love, too. Frank has touched so many lives. I don't think he had any idea just how many.
Our other sister, Kay, stayed with us Sunday night to help, because he was requiring meds almost every hour, and Janell and I were short on sleep. Monday morning Hospice began making arrangements for a pain pump to help us out. Frank was no longer conscious, but it was obvious when the meds began to wear off.
Kevin came over during his lunch break to spend some time with his dad before going back to work. Kay was napping, Janell was taking the trash out, and I was on the front porch, talking on the phone with a former nurse (a stranger) who was offering to come and take turns sitting with Frank. But it wasn't necessary. Frank took that 5 minutes when no one was at his bedside, to quietly slip away. It was just like him not to want to be a bother, not to want to upset anyone.
He was buried on a cold, rainy afternoon. The church was full, and the viewing had been long the night before. Because of the weather, Janell and Kevin decided to cancel the graveside service. Frank wouldn't have wanted people to be miserable on his account.
I have retired from nursing now, and my husband and I have moved to Virginia to be near our own little granddaughter, born in Feb. after Frank's death. He had a goal to travel up here to see her after she was born, but instead, he is viewing her from Heaven. Janell still wears her sunny smile, and spends as much time with their grandsons as she can. Last Feb. she fulfilled Frank's goal, and flew up here to meet his great-niece for her first birthday.
The facebook page he started, Prayers for Garrett Jones, goes on. Every night, at 9 pm Eastern time, prayer requests are accepted and the prayer warriors go before God with them. Janis and Dara have been so faithful in keeping this up. Frank would be so proud and grateful, and he would be the first to give God the glory for anyone who has benefitted from it. I miss my brother, but I know he is whole now, and praising God with his beautiful voice, with his 2 sons beside him.
Jan. 1, 2017
I want to thank each of you who are praying and will continue. This is answers to your prayers, and proof God hears us. I want to mention my oncologist, John Piede (pronounced PD). He is a Christian physician, God led me to him through unusual channels, and I have no doubt God is leading him. I ask that you pray for him. He is new in the practice, but is supposedly one of the premier oncologists to come to Birmingham in a long time. He is at Alabama Oncology, working out of St. Vincent's hospital. I am blessed and humbled to be one of his patients, and I know that my fight is not over, but it's great to have him on my side.