Over the weekend, I talked with Ann about what she and Ben have experienced over the past few years, months and days. Here’s how she describes their journey together:
“Ben developed kidney disease three years ago. It got us talking about ‘end of life’ planning. We agreed we would stay in our home and die in our own beds.
“A few weeks ago, Ben’s symptoms worsened. To our surprise, his doctor said it was time to call hospice. Neither of us was ready for such a recommendation, but our earlier conversations helped us put our plan into action.
“Some things we have enjoyed for years have ended: playing pool each day, getting our groceries together, going for rides in the country, walking around our friendly neighborhood. Now the farthest Ben can walk is to the mailbox, and that can be a struggle.
“What helps me the most is Ben’s fantastic attitude. He adds humor as he explains how to fix things around the house that always have been his job.
“I stay active. I can leave Ben for short periods as long as he doesn’t try something ‘stupid.’
“It’s good the changes in Ben’s condition have come little by little. It’s gone more smoothly than I thought. Yet, I know the precious days left become fewer. That’s scary.
“But love and faith are the best medicine. And we are blessed with both.”