Steve Hutchison (foomf) wrote,
Steve Hutchison

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Thank you all

I am really grateful for the care and the prayers and good thoughts of all of you.

I will be posting some in Penny's livejournal, rubyloot, as I work through it.

We had a visit yesterday AM from her home health care nurse, and she checked her blood pressure (98/51) and her pulse (101) and listened to her lungs (a bit wheezy but ok)... scheduled the physical and occupational therapists to come in because we needed to set things up to get Penny to the hospital for her oncologist visit on Tuesday.
Because of a poor night's sleep (coughing) Penny was tired but in good spirits.

I had an interview (left the house at 2:15) with Josh at K-Force as a preliminary screening for contract work, following which I stopped at the Beaverton Pharmacy to get a better incline-pad and some other comfort-aids for Penny. I stopped at Albertsons to get the low-acid orange juice she wanted, and some more ginger ale, and a few other things for the weekend, then got back around 5:35. Penny didn't answer when I called her, so I put stuff down and went into the bedroom. The television was on the right channel for Judge Judy, which we were planning to watch together at 6pm. Her glasses were carefully placed on the pillow above her head, her arms at her sides, and her mouth was open as if she was snoring; her eyes closed. She wasn't breathing and her face was cold, and I kind of lost it for a moment, but tried to rouse her and find a pulse. No pulse, I called 911 and started rescue breaths. That wasn't effective. When the firemen got there, they verified that she had no hearbeat, and I had to show them the DNR order for cardiac events, or they would have tried to bring her back, and it wouldn't have worked, or she would have been in really bad pain for a short time.

The police asked all the questions that they have to ask, and the phone rang - I told the friend who was calling to check up on us, that she had died. She called our pastor and the other people and gradually, people got here in small and large swarms.

There was much folding of laundry and sorting of recyclables and washing of dishes by people who needed to occupy hands. I don't think Penny quite realized how many people's lives she had touched in so many good ways until this illness, and the outpouring support from friends.

I talked with her family, one by one, and with her mother... still haven't had time to talk to her sister, and should do that now.
OK... that was good. She was driving into Redding, the family are getting together. Her brother Pat will be coming, her Mom probably not, because she's physically frail and emotionally pretty shakey too. Patricia will accompany her Mom either way, for support.

Anyway. Father Ken (our rector at St. Barts) handled getting all the communication with the funeral home and other things that had to be done. Eventually, after the police left and the medical examiner cleared things, two incredibly skinny women from Omega Funeral and Cremation Services showed up... I helped them move Penny's cast-off onto their gurney, and they managed (with some serious BAD LIFTING FORM! and gouging a hole in a corner) to get her out of the apartment.

I stayed the night at Brad and Linda's place. They're also helping with the costs of the funeral, bless them. And, we found that there is some insurance, though I'm not certain of the details and won't hear from them until Monday.

She wanted to be buried in the memorial garden at St. Bartholemew's Episcopal Church - our church, the one she was a member of as a baby and as a child when it was first founded 50 years ago. They will be cremating her body, then her ashes will be interred there, and we'll have the memorial service on Sunday the 22nd of January at 11:30 (after the 10AM service so people who want communion can do so). We wanted to be able to have all our friends from church be there without having too much difficulty with mid-week services interrupting the work day.

So, this week, I will primarily figure out the service. There will be an autopsy Tuesday, because we want to know what was the actual cause of death. One of my brothers will be here tonight, and Mom will be here tomorrow sometime after noon.

Strange, surrounded by friends and loved ones, and I'm still lonely.

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