We have been slowly moving south toward Tennessee since leaving Cuba. We arrived in the little town of Heiskell, TN about 20 miles north of Knoxville, TN on Saturday, and made plans to do some genealogy research in the area.
A week or so ago Dianna learned that her Dad had come down with a cold and was feeling puny. That's not surprising for a man who will be 94 this month. His condition worsened suddenly during the night Friday and he was taken to the hospital by ambulance. He said he did not have the strength to get out of his chair to go to bed or to go to the bathroom. They checked him out and sent him home, saying that he just had a cold. However, his condition did not improve. In fact it continued to deteriorate.
Saturday he did get out of bed for a few minutes in the morning, but that was it. He would not eat, drink or take his medications. Julie and Betty were not able to handle his needs so Greg flew out from Rochester on Sunday to help. Carl's condition continued to go downhill Sunday and we decided Dianna should also go to California.
We made a reservation for today (Monday) for her to fly out of Nashville, the nearest large airport. After doing some shopping and packing her bags, we drove to the 100 miles to Cleveland so we could see Darin and Diane, along with Christine, Nathan and our new great grandson Skylar. Of course, he is precious, and photos will follow.
We slept in the truck in Darin's driveway, although neither of us got more than an hour of so of sleep, and Dianna continued to receive phone calls from her brother and sister during the night. The sense that the end might be near was on everyone's mind, and Carl has told everyone that he had lived long enough, was ready, and did not want to go to the hospital again. Around 7 PM last night he roused enough to agree to go to the hospital again if it would make him feel better. Greg followed the ambulance and stayed with him until shortly after midnight CA time, spending some time talking to their Dr. about hospice. About 12:30 the Dr. called Julie to tell her that he has severe pneumonia in one lung, and it was progressing in the other. He told her that while it is possible he will survive this, it is not likely. He said he will likely hang on for only a few more days at most.
This morning we drove from Darin's to the airport in Nashville, a distance of about 190 miles, and Dianna flew out for CA. She is still in the air as I write this. I drove another 200 miles back to where we left our trailer near Knoxville. Tomorrow I will start for California with our rig. We expect to be needed there for a few months while we deal with all the issues that will surely require attention. Greg and Julie both work full time, and we are in the best situation to be able to do what needs to be done.
Arrangements are being made for hospice to assist with Carl's care during his final days, and it is expected that he will be brought home tonight or tomorrow. He only rouses occasionally and does not seem to be aware of what is happening. Hopefully he will recognize Dianna one last time when she arrives. I know that would mean a lot to her, but she also knows it is not likely.
Communications may be sparse for the next few days. Dianna does have her computer with her so I'm sure she will read emails when she has a chance. I will try to make the 2,200 mile drive in 4 or 5 days, so you won't hear much from me.
I know the family appreciates everyone's thoughts and prayers.