My father had been in hospice care for a month and four days when The Call came.
I answered the phone Tuesday evening and a woman said, “Christi, this is Barbara, the nurse at Llano Hospice. I’m the one who has been visiting your father. There’s been a change in his status.”
That’s when I picked up a pencil and found a notepad. Notice the order of the words from top to bottom. This is how a hospice nurse tells you your loved one is dying. I wondered later if they do this deliberately. It was a kind and gentle way to give sad but not surprising news.
The sad thing is the list of names in the bottom righthand corner. These are all the people I needed to call. He didn’t have anyone else in his life.
Today the thought came to me, if you want to have people at your memorial service, you must cultivate and keep your friends. If you don’t, you’ll be very lonely at the end.