Beginning of the End


Happy 90th Birthday to Dad on June 21, 2013! His big present was a new pacemaker.

Transmission of Bernard Sr.’s pacemaker information was to be done on June 6, 2013. During a visit a week later, Nina noticed Dad was falling to sleep a lot. Even in the middle of a sentence during a conversation, which was very unusual. She asked him about his pacemaker and Bernard Sr. said “I swear it’s not working correctly.” Then he said he was told, sometimes pacers just don’t work to capacity. An appointment with Bernard Sr.’s doctor was finally made. He was taken to his doctor on June 20, who said, “you are to go directly to the hospital. Your pacer is barely working”.

In the beginning of September 2013, a daughter, Jane, from out of town visits and takes Dad (Bernard Sr.) to Jean’s home where they plan on visiting and having an early evening dinner. An older brother also comes to visit. This is a turning point where Dad is told he is not wanted where he is living at anymore. Nina refuses to go behind her father’s back to find a place for him to live as requested by her Wisconsin brother. She explains to her father over the phone what is happening.

He is surprised and wonders why his son has not told him, but then a look of awareness flashes in his eyes and he says, “I can play games too!” He is shown a bedroom all made up, at Jean’s that is for him when he is ready. Bernard Sr. is told he is very welcome to come live anytime, and stay as long as he wishes.

On September 25, 2013 the Wisconsin brother calls Nina and says he wants his father out of his house now. Nina arranges the move and Bernard Sr. moves back to Minnesota on September 28, 2014 into his daughter Jean’s home.

Bernard Sr. enjoys his time at his new home and looks forward to having his wife, Lorraine, closer by moving her from Wisconsin to Minnesota. His only disappointment is that two of his sons never call or visit him. They never try to contact him to find out how he is doing or what his plans may be for himself and for their mother.

At the end of October, Bernard Sr.'s health takes a turn for the worse. He goes into the hospital on October 30th. Bernard Sr. tells Jean, the daughter he’s living with, to call her sister Nina, and ask her to come to Minnesota now. He has things he wants her to do. Nina books an airline ticket and arrives the following day. Bernard is discharged from the hospital on November 2, 2013.

After visiting his doctor on November 5th, Bernard signs himself into Hospice on November 6th. November 7th Bernard says to Nina and Jean, "let's get Mom (Lorraine) now, her new place is ready". Bernard and Lorraine have lunch together and spend the afternoon with each other.

On November 8th in the morning, Bernie tells his daughters to make funeral arrangements “… to spend as little as possible. Don’t pay for anything extra. Save all the money for Mom”. He repeats again what he has told his daughters previously “ …take care of your mother, that’s what I saved for all my life. Protect her, keep her safe, secure and as happy as possible. Get her anything she may need or want. Make sure she is loved.”

The Hospice bed arrives in the early evening. Bernard is moved to that bed. Now resting more comfortably, he passes away peacefully at 11:35 PM, November 8, 2013.

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