Robin, Jon, and I (Karen) would like to thank all of you who made this very difficult time easier for us.
When Mom and Dad first arrived at Summit Medical Center in Show Low, AZ, I called ahead of their arrival and spoke with Terry. She knew who my parents were and is a good friend of Jon and Tanya. She was an amazing blessing to us! With Covid restrictions in place, no family could go in to see Mom and Dad and we were blessed from the very beginning of this journey with so many amazing people at the hospital. This gave us such relief.
Next, I spoke with the family liaison Phyllis. I spoke with her more times than I can remember. She was the one person I could call who could answer any question, give updates on Mom and Dad and help family hook into the video system at the hospital. She was so kind and caring and I often just used her as a shoulder to lean on when the situation was becoming more than I could handle. She gladly offered her shoulder and was such an amazing support to me.
We all relied heavily on the amazing nurses in the ICU and in the Covid wing. In addition to their unbelievably stressful nursing duties, they are the main line of communication with families and must spend countless hours talking with families. A few that we relied on were Esther, Jessica, Will, Brandy, Cara, and Robert. They treated our parents with such kindness and there are no words to express our appreciation of what they did.
Summit also has an amazing video system that allowed us to pop in and visit Mom and Dad at any time. With Covid restrictions, this was a huge blessing! Through the video, we were able to spend a lot of time with Dad after Mom passed. I can’t imagine how much harder it would have been if that weren’t possible. For us to think of Dad being by himself as he mourned for Mom would have been even more unbearable.
The ambulance and air crew who transported Dad to Phoenix were also so compassionate. Before Dad was moved, he had to sign the paperwork for Mom to be cremated. As they were preparing to move Dad, they took the time and with so much compassion, helped Dad hold the pen and through his tears helped him sign the papers. That was one of the most heartbreaking moments for our family and I wish I knew the young mans name. He was such a blessing in a horrific moment. After wards, Jon was allowed to follow the ambulance right out to the airplane and he FaceTimed me so I could also see Dad and talk to him as he was being put on the airplane. The air crew was so kind to Dad. He had never flown on a small plane and had only been on airliners a handful of times so I know he must have been so nervous.
Next, Dad was taken to Abrazzo in Phoenix. We were sad to find out that they didn’t have a video system we could use to talk to Dad and keep an eye on him, but the nurses were so good about helping us FaceTime with him. Again, so many nurses going above and beyond to support the families. I also had several calls with the Chaplin Anna Marie at Abrazzo and she was so sweet and spent time with Dad. After Dad passed, she told us about a nurse named Laura who held Dads hand during his last hours. Dad told her that he had seen Mom and Mom told him that everything was ready and it was time for him to join her. What a comfort to know that someone so caring and compassionate took the time to sit with him. It still breaks our hearts that we didn’t get there in time, but we believe that things happen for a reason and have found peace with that.
The three of us have been able to spend time with the Hospice chaplain Mark Chambers in Show Low and he has been so helpful to us as we deal with this loss.
As we went through Mom and Dads house, more blessings came our way. A friend of Jon’s delivered a dumpster for us to use to pick up tree branches in their yard as well as to dispose of stuff from their house. So helpful!
We had the Celebration of Life at the Torreón Golf Club in Show Low. It is such a beautiful facility and everyone that worked with us made the Celebration of Life so perfect. A special thank you to Brett and James for all they did. We also had a dinner there that evening for family and the room was so beautiful with pictures of Mom and Dad and beautiful flower arrangements that we received from wonderful friends and family. The video of pictures and music that Justin put together for us was so amazing and Chris Freeman did a wonderful job officiating the Celebration of Life. A special thank you to our cousin Joy for sharing her thoughts. It was wonderful and made us all smile!
We were blessed with the use of a beautiful home to stay in while we were in Show Low for the ceremony. Thank you to Heather for that.
While in Scottsdale for the Inurnment Ceremony, the Celebrant Ronda Berkey did an amazing job capturing who Mom and Dad were and sharing that with all who attended. We stayed at the Hyatt on the ASU campus and Monica and Susan were so helpful reserving a block of rooms for us and setting up a reception for us at their roof top pool. Everything was wonderful.
Above all, we can't even begin to thank all of our friends and family members who went above and beyond to support us with prayers, cards, flowers, notes on Facebook, hugs and so many special things to numerous to mention. We would like to especially thank all the friends and family that came from out of town to be with us during the Celebration of Life and Inurnment ceremonies. It was such a blessing to see that when tragedy struck our family, people came from everywhere to care for and support our family. It made what would have been an unbearable situation bearable and we cannot thank everyone enough for the support we received.
We pray for Gods Blessings to surround all of you who supported us through the last few months.