Saturday, February 1, 2014

Gene Dies

[Entries from Perry's Journal]

August 16, 1979: On this day the footings were all poured for the wall and the end posts set.  What a day!  For days I had been working on digging the footings.  I would work for an hour or so, then come and lie by Gene’s side for a while, rest and hold her hand.  Always I kept the windows open so that I could hear her call or hear the phone ring.  I had hired a man to help me on Saturdays and after his own work.  He needed the extra money.
I finally found a cement company that could deliver in the late afternoon when my man would be here and I arranged to have Linda come and be with her mom because I knew that once we started pouring cement I could not stop.  When the truck came, the driver said he could not cross over, or within twenty feet of the cesspool.  He had to call his office, and I had to agree to pay $500 if necessary to pull that huge truck out if it went in.  What a scare!  I could only hope to stay as far from it as possible or to straddle it, and I wasn’t even sure where it was.
While we were pouring the footings, Linda came and called me saying that Gene was sick, vomiting, and was calling for me.  I came in, dirty as could be, cement all over my shoes, helped Gene as much as I could, comforted her, helped her wash out her mouth, gave some medication, and then rushed back out to the work.  I hoped Gene didn’t feel slighted.  I was so glad to get that truck off the property and back onto the street with no mishap.  What an anxious, stressful experience.  I would never want it repeated!  Ever! 

August 19, 1979: . . . I got all the column blocks laid up yesterday.  I wheeled Gene out on the front porch to look at them today.  They all look so stately and nice.  But Gene could barely appreciate it.  She doesn’t feel well at all.  I wanted her to see and enjoy this much of our plans completed, and maybe she did more than she could show or express.  She is so weak.  I have to carry her to and from the bathroom.

September 9, 1979: . . . . The total wall has cost about $2,000.  And it is all paid.  I just have some finishing up and cleaning up to do.  Then I will do the fence.  I wish Gene were able to appreciate it, but my dear love who has been with me in so many building projects, put up with and endured so much while we tried to provide for our dear family, is slipping away from me.

September 17, 1979: We took Gene to the hospital on this day.  She was so sick.  The doctor suggested we bring her by ambulance as she was so sick that I doubted that I could get her in the little Datsun. . . .  At the hospital, The doctor took me aside and suggested we put her in the hospital.  He said he admired me but felt I had done all that could be humanly expected.  I felt I had too and didn’t see how I could do more or give her all the care she needed.  And I was still trying to hold down my job.
The whites of Gene’s eyes were yellowing as is also her skin--the eyes especially.  The doctor said the cancer is affecting her liver.  How long, Oh Lord, can this go on?

Some of the family in attendance at Gene's funeral
September 21, 1979: Linda, Marian, Warren, and I have been taking turns staying with Gene.  Also the Relief Society sisters have volunteered to come in and help.  Her skin is all orange-yellow.  Tonight Warren and I administered to Gene.  I felt the time had come to ask for her release from this world if it was in harmony with the will of the Lord.  I discussed this with Warren when he came in.  Linda was there too. Gene had not said anything at all for that full day nor hardly a word for several days, and I didn’t think she was even conscious, but I asked her if she would like to have us administer to her.  She immediately responded, “Oh, yes.”  This quite surprised me.

Warren anointed and I sealed the anointing, blessing her for her devoted life and service, honoring her for living a life in her youth so that she recognized the gospel when she heard it, bringing thereby her whole family into the Church.  I then blessed her that if it was the Lord’s will she might be released from this world to join those many good and noble ancestors who had preceded her, that she might rejoice in their presence and they in hers, that she might go on with the message of the gospel among those good people as she did among her family here.  I implored the Lord that not for my sake did I ask it, that I did not ask to shun any responsibility, that I would carry on as long as he willed, but for her sake only did I ask it that she might be relieved of the pain and suffering of this disease which had progressed to such proportions. Upon conclusion of the blessing, Gene gave a very clear and audible “Amen” so we knew she heard, understood and gave her concurrence to all that had been spoken.  Linda and I were both weeping.

Memorial Day 1980 at Gene's grave
September 27, 1979

Dear Perry & family,

I'm sorry Gene had to be taken from you. I know how you will miss her, but remember the Lord was kind and didn't leave her suffering too awfully long when she got to the point she did. He left her with you a lot longer than the doctors gave you any hope for, and I'm sure that He will bring you all the comfort you need at this time if you put your faith and trust in Him.

I know, Perry, it will be a lot harder on you after the funeral and the kids all leave and you are there alone. But the Lord takes that first bitter sting away that always comes with death. Remember, there are a lot harder things to face in life than death, so may His comforting spirit be with all of you.

I'm not sending flowers, so please take this and put it on something you will need more than flowers that wilt and die. I hope all the kids will be protected in their traveling to you there and when they all return to their homes.

May the Lord bring you all the peace and comfort you will need at this time. I know what it is like to be left alone and you can get busy in the church again now that all the care you had to give Gene and your dad is gone. Rest in the fact that you took good care of them, and now they are a lot better off than us that still have to stay and suffer. May the Lord bless you all. My love to all, Aunt Thelma

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