Libby’s Journey

This is so hard!  Having to watch your best friend die!  She was supposed to go on a trip to the Outer Banks with her son but couldn’t make it. The Hospice nurse tells us to let her do exactly what she feels like doing because she is dying and it wouldn’t matter where it happened.

Yesterday a youth group from a local church gave the residents of K.M. manor  a Thanksgiving dinner. I took Libby and everyone was so glad to see her there, but by the time we finished eating, she was exhausted and I thought it best to walk her back to our apartments. When we got here, I put her pajamas on her and got her into bed. That was at 2 p.m. yesterday afternoon and she slept until 9 a.m. this morning.  She looks so weak and vulnerable.

After I gave her a bath,washed her hair and got her dressed I came to my apartment. A little later she and Warren knocked on my door and Libby said “Peggy, I want you to go out to eat with us!”  I told her I was sorry but I wasn’t dressed to go out, no makeup or anything. She gave me the saddest look and started just pleading with me to go. She had never done that before and something told me to go. I told her to give me a few minutes and I hurriedly got dressed and off to Gaffney to “Clock’s Restaurant” we went. She couldn’t seem to decide what she wanted to eat and and seemed disoriented again. Then after we ordered she said “I wanted the pork chops but I couldn’t find them on the menu”. Warren called the waitress back and we finally got her order in. She didn’t take but a few bites so we brought it home in a box.

While we were eating, right in the middle of our meal, She leaned over toward Warren and said “Do ya’ll want me to die at home or at the Hospice House?” We nearly fell over because it was so sudden. We assured her it would be her decision.

She is crying a lot now.  I told her she had tried to be so strong for everyone else, so it was time she was leaning more on her family, who loved her so much and wanted to be there for her. After I bathed her she started crying and I called Warren to come in and he put his arms around her and just let her cry. She looked up into his eyes and said “I don’t want to leave you, son.”  He told her it wouldn’t be long until he would be with her. Then he talked to her about his love for the mountains and what beautiful mountains they would see when they got there.

Then he started talking about her love for animals, the two squirrels she rescued as babies, bottle fed them and named them. Even when they grew up and she let them go outside on their own, every time she went outside and called them they would come running to her. She had pictures of them. One was sitting on her shoulder eating out of a container she was holding and the other was sitting right next to her on the birdfeeder. It didn’t surprise me because she has so much love to give away. It is like being in sunshine, when you are  around her.

After I bathed her today, I was putting body lotion on her and grabbed the shampoo bottle by mistake and just happened to notice that it was clear jel, as I was about to slather it all over her back. We laughed like crazy over that and then as I squirted out the lotion into my hand it went over my hand and across her arm. Again we just laughed and laughed. SILLY!  SO IT SEEMS!, but it was just two best friends, trying to forget that soon one of them would be gone and the other one would be left with a broken heart that only God could heal.

About Peggy

Peggy Chaney was best known as cook and co-owner of Peggy's Restaurant in Kings Mountain, North Carolina (which she and her sister, Loretta, ran for over two decades). You can find her pages on Google+, Twitter and Facebook. One of eleven siblings, she was the daughter of a Baptist preacher, and was well remembered for her kind spirit and regard for others. Her genuine warmth and grace is sorely missed.

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