Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Good-bye, Al

Al turned ninety-two on Friday. Early Sunday morning, he died.

He had had a difficult week. Except to use the toilet, Al  stayed in bed nearly twenty-four hours a day. From time to time he would mumble, "Goddamn, I hurt. Why do I have to put up with this shit?" One morning Donna and Amanda, both hospice nurses, were there. Donna was getting Al's vitals, while Amanda clipped his nails. A year ago, Al would have been either telling the nurses to "get the hell out of here," or suggesting they get in the bed and roll around with him. That day, however, all he said was, "They're cleaning me up."

Saturday morning, Penelope, Al's nephew Harry, who came down from New York, and I spoke with the nurse from Columbus Hospice in order to get Al on to their rolls and off Hospice Advantage's. The problem with Hospice Advantage had nothing to do with the nurses and others from there who visited Covenant Woods to tend to Al's needs. But the facilities and care Al received at River Towne, where Hospice Advantage had sent him for a few days to get him hydrated, get his meds regulated and check for a possible urinary tract infection, concerned all those who visited Al while he was there.

The Columbus Hospice nurse got Al's vitals, asked for our observations of Al's condition, and got Harry's signature on the various forms. When all that was done, she said she would review the information with the doctor. She felt that Al was in the final stages. If the doctor agreed, they would have Al transported to their place on Macon Road. At two o'clock Saturday afternoon, the EMTs transported Al to Columbus Hospice. In the wee hours of Sunday morning, Harry got the call that his uncle had passed.

I miss him.


  1. Sorry to hear about your good friend Al. God bless.

  2. Al surely was one of a kind. I'm so glad I got to know him.

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