Softly and Tenderly… Jesus Called Susi Weight Home

As I woke up this morning, I kept picturing a doctor in a white coat solemnly flipping off a utilitarian, perhaps red ventilator switch as we all stood weeping around my mother-in-law. The beep, beep, beeping of the monitor would speed up and gradually become one long, solid beeeeeeeeeeeeeeep signaling the finality of the ordeal. I guess I’ve watched too many movies and ER reruns.

The old hymn that my granny used to play… “Softly and Tenderly” crept into my subconscious and out of my mouth as I stirred creamer into my coffee.

“Earnestly, tenderly….waiting and watching…..calling oh, sinner come home.”

Staring out the kitchen window, I sighed “she’s coming home today, Lord.”

My mother-in-law, Susi Weight, has been sick with a variety of worsening health problems that have given her infections and chronic pain in exchange for her independence. Just a few years ago, she was a bubbly, chatty (REALLY CHATTY, like non-stop chatty) bridge playing, travelling, volunteering, happy-go-lucky grandma.

A colon tear, non-working kidneys and a defunct liver led to an impromptu family reunion in the intensive care unit of Kaiser Hospital in Walnut Creek, CA. In spite of the medical staff doing all that they could, Susi’s upper-management organs were closing up shop and taking spontaneous retirement.

The ventilator was doing a great job of breathing for her. But that was the problem. Dr Mayou, a young version of Jackie Chan who was just a tad too upbeat, broke the news that Susi had a 95-percent chance of not being discharged from the hospital alive. I wanted to ask him to “show his work” like in grade school. But it was clear that the vivacious Susi was no longer there, her boisterous laugh replaced by consistent, mechanical inhales and exhales.

My husband James and his siblings, Larry and Penny, had to make the unthinkable decision for which no one wants to be responsible.

Click here to download my book, Just Kidding (not really) to read the rest of this and 60 other funny essays about life, marriage, kids and being neurotic. 

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17 Responses to Softly and Tenderly… Jesus Called Susi Weight Home

  1. Loser says:

    I love you Angela. Hug James and those boys tight tonight.

    Like

  2. SherryTex says:

    So sorry for your loss. Prayers.

    Like

  3. Anonymous says:

    So sorry for you guys. You're in my prayers.

    Like

  4. Misty Flanders says:

    What a sweet story about her. Prayers are with you all.

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  5. Wanda says:

    That was a great tribute to your MIL and to you. I have your hand through this.

    Like

  6. Sharon says:

    What a beautiful way to say farewell. Remember that Susi is still with you and will be checking in from time to time. You'll be able to feel her hugs.

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  7. Simone says:

    Sorry for your loss. You did a wonderful job with this tribute.
    God Bless you and your family.

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  8. I am sorry that Susi’s body gave out on her. Oh, what a tender moment between you and your MIL. I am glad that so many family members were able to gather in order to say goodbye. You are very sweet. Hugs to you and all of Susi’s loved ones at this time.

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  9. This is lovely. Bittersweet and beautiful account of coping with what can’t be avoided. We all have our own style. I love yours. My condolences to you and your family. ♥

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  10. What a wonderful tribute. Made me think about some tributes that I should be writing.

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  11. What a beautiful tribute. I am so sorry for your loss, sending hugs and prayers.

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  12. Oh my Lord, that broke me down. I have been in that room and I don’t like it. Thank you for sharing. That is some good writing.

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  13. loisaltermark says:

    I’m in tears. Such a beautiful tribute to your mother in law – and to the nurse who made a difference.

    Like

  14. God bless…and know that she has read this lovely tribute.

    Like

  15. Cathy says:

    G-d bless your MIL and your family. Life is precious but can turn on a dime. She is and always will be with you. RIP.

    Like

  16. What a wonderful and touching story. I love the last line. Sweet.

    Like

  17. mysocalledmidlife.net says:

    So sorry for your loss. What a touching and sweet story.

    Like

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