Saying Goodbye

saying goodbye

saying goodbye

 

Last week I received a call from my brother-in-law. My sister hasn’t been doing well for the past couple of years.

She had just visited her doctor and he told her that he didn’t feel good about her color and wanted her to check into the hospital. She walked in to the hospital and a couple of days later she was being enrolled into hospice. Therefore, I made plans to fly out to Phoenix to be with her and the family.

I have always loved visiting Phoenix.  As I flew over the mountains located east of the city, I guess they were part of the Tonto National Forest, I could see low clouds lying in between the mountain peaks below.  They are so beautiful.

After landing I made my way to North Phoenix and found the house for the Hospice of the Valley. I had spoken to my sister over the telephone the night before. I hadn’t planned to take this trip until after speaking with her. So she wasn’t expecting to see me. When I walked in her face just lit up as she recognized me.

We spoke some and I told her about my temporary job starting the following week. I also mentioned that another company had tried to call me while I was flying out to set up an interview. We even talked about the upcoming BCS Championship game. She just smiled. Wanda isn’t necessary a big fan, but she has always has gotten a laugh out of my love of Alabama Football. Then she just slipped away from us to someplace else.  I then learned that she hadn’t been very responsive for most of the day until I arrived.

I never really knew Wanda until after becoming an adult. She is twenty something years older than me.  Let’s just say that I was a huge surprise, and leave it at that! Her husband Ken was in the Air Force and they were stationed several places including Germany. After retiring from the Air Force they returned state side and moved to Phoenix.  I remember visiting her several times as a child, but it was more like visiting an aunt instead of a sister. However, when I became an adult we grew very close.

At times Wanda would slip in and out of a state where her family and friends could communicate with her. When the time came for me to leave was hard to do so with the inevitable still hanging in the air, but I’m glad that I was able to tell her how much she means to me and also tell her goodbye.

So now I leave Phoenix for the second time in as many years. Both trips here were family emergencies and not photo opportunities.  As much as I love visiting the Desert Southwest, because it so far to come I’m afraid that I’ve lost that opportunity to ever visit it again.

So in today’s picture we watch as the sun brings closure to yet another day.

Update – Sunday

I received the call today from my brother-in-law, Ken, telling me that Wanda had passed during the night. So the appointed time that we all know we have, but hope will somehow be overlooked, has come.
Goodbye Wanda, I’m going to really miss you.

 

32 Comments

  1. Jan Winther December 3, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

    Phillip, I feel for you and your family, deeply. It must be a hard time for you for sure. Been through that myself. Its was a tough time to get through, and I’m sure you feel that too.
    You will be in my thoughts. Take care of your self and your family.

    • Phillip December 4, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

      Thank you so much Jan for the kind words and thoughts.

  2. Scott Wood December 4, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    So terribly sorry to hear of your loss.

    • Phillip December 4, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

      Thank you Scott I appreciate it.

  3. Chris Frailey December 5, 2011 at 12:46 am #

    Phillip, my deepest condolences for you and your family. So sorry to hear of the passing of your sister.

    • Phillip December 5, 2011 at 8:58 am #

      Thank you so much Chris!

  4. Len Saltiel December 5, 2011 at 6:12 am #

    That was so well said Phillip. Your love for your sister comes through. So sorry to hear about this. Your family will be in my prayers.

    • Phillip December 5, 2011 at 8:57 am #

      I appreciate your thoughts and prayers Len. She is in a much better place now, but it’s the separation that always hurts the most.

  5. deniseippolito December 5, 2011 at 6:34 am #

    Phillip, A touching story and a peaceful image to go along with it.

  6. Marc December 5, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    Very heartfelt post Phillip, may I offer my condolences for your loss.

    • Phillip December 5, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

      Thank you Marc for the wonderful comment.

  7. Jimi Jones December 5, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    Phillip, it’s always tough to come up with the right words during times like these. I extend my sincere condolences and pray that your family finds strength as your sister moves on to a peaceful place.

    So sorry for your loss.

    • Phillip December 5, 2011 at 8:35 pm #

      Thank you so very much Jimi for your thoughtful words.

  8. Curt Fleenor December 5, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

    My sincerest sympathies to you and your family Phillip.

    • Phillip December 5, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

      I really appreciate it Curt, thank you.

  9. Victoria/Sweden December 6, 2011 at 5:02 am #

    Beautiful photo!

  10. Rob December 6, 2011 at 9:03 am #

    Phillip, my sincerest condolences for you and your family during this difficult time. So glad you were able to join her one last time. You r image is fitting. As the sunsets there is hope for a new tomorrow.

    • Phillip December 6, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

      Thank you so much Rob. You are right about hope. I appreciate it!

  11. Mats December 7, 2011 at 2:46 am #

    I’m deeply sorry for your loss Phillip!

    • Phillip December 7, 2011 at 6:05 am #

      Thank you Mats I appreciate the wonderful comment.

  12. DaniLew December 7, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    Oh Phillip! Such a sad but beautiful story. I’m sending prayers and virtual hugs to you and your family.

    Danielle

    • Phillip December 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

      Thank you so much Danielle I really appreciate your comment!

  13. Otto von Münchow December 9, 2011 at 7:13 am #

    I am very sorry for you. It’s a sad story you share with us. But also somewhat hopefully in that you did learn to know who your sister was after you grew older. My deepest sympathies.

    • Phillip December 9, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

      Thank you Otto for the wonderful thoughts. They really mean a lot!

  14. Edith Levy December 9, 2011 at 11:35 pm #

    Phillip I’m so very sorry for your loss. Please accept my condolences to you and your family. I’m sure it meant the world to your sister that you went out to visit her and to you as well.

    • Phillip December 10, 2011 at 1:08 am #

      Thanks Edith. It did mean a lot for me to be able to go out and see her. It’s really amazing how God worked out the details. A couple of weeks earlier I had been told that I was scheduled to start my new temporary job during that week. I later discovered that I was a mistaken and that I was to actually schedule to start this week.
      At the time I was a little disappointed to lose that week of work. However, had the original schedule been correct, both the company and I would have been placed in a very uncomfortable position. As it turned out I was free to spend time with her without having to think about how it was affecting my relationship with my new employer.

  15. Kris Koeller December 10, 2011 at 9:28 am #

    My condolences. Beautiful post.

    • Phillip December 10, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

      I really appreciate it Kris!

  16. Andrew Graeme Gould December 12, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    Phillip, I’m terribly sorry to hear this sad news.
    Yours,
    Andrew.

    • Phillip December 12, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

      Thank you Andrew, it real nice of you to stop by.

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