I met Vern a few years ago....while I lived with my dear friends that were and "are" like a family to me, while I was waiting for waiting for housing on the housing list. Vern was their next door neighbor. We became close "buds"..I would go over to his house and we would sit and talk...he lived alone...had for many years...he had Parkinsons disease...he would take such good care of his house and front and back yard..worked so hard mowing the lawn gardening in the back yard...always accidently cutting up his fingers and hands while mowing or using tools and such...his hands would shake so much..I would bring over peroxide and clean up his hands and cut fingers and show him how to do it so if he is alone and is bleeding what to do. Vern and I would always have nice talks...or have pizza together...just him and I hanging out...he would share things with me about himself, we had "special talks"....and he would listen to the story of my life basically or as Vern used to say "your lives"...for he knew the many things I've gone through in life he said was more like "many lives"...ha yes, I knew what he meant. He was a good friend to me..and from time to time he would flirt with me too...just for fun...I let him get away with it. I always gave him lots of hugs through the years. He liked that!
We watched Vern go downhill pretty quickly...once they put him in a retirement home a few weeks ago, I remember what he had told me often, "if they take me from my home and put me in a retirement place I'm just going to let go...I don't want to live that way". I remembered those words he had said to me often in the last few years...and when they drove him off to the retirement facility in town I kissed him on the cheek and told him I would see him "soon". Last week I was told that Vern was refusing to eat and just lay in bed losing weight and getting weaker and weaker day after day. I knew I had to see him before it was too late. So my family friends son picked me up and drove me over there a few days ago, I knew I had to see Vern one last time and to say good-bye. He never opened his eyes, but I talked to him and told him who I was and told him I had brought a little "angel" a ceramic one just for him. I held his hand and touched his face lightly. I asked him to sqeeze my hand if he knew I was there and he then proceeded to cling to my hand very tightly. Then I also put the little angel in his hand, let him hold her...he held on tightly to that angel...and didn't want to let her go..or my hand..I knew this was the last time and that I would not see Vern again....I was saying good-bye....and I knew he knew I was there...I remember when I told him "here look I brought you an angel Vern" and put her in his hand...his mouth opened and seemed as if he was trying to say something...he was trying very hard...then he smiled...it was such a sweet smile he had on his face..his eyes remained closed. I talked to him for a while...just kept saying "I'm here Vern" and and reminded him of the wonderful talks we had and certain things he had said to me. I held his hand tightly again and gave him a kiss on the cheek....he did not want to let go of my hand he held...that was the hardest part...I had to slowly pry his hand from mine.....and we to leave. They told us we had to go. I had been waiting for the call...I knew Vern was letting go....very quickly....just as he had told me so many times before that he would when it came down to this. I got the call this afternoon...Vern had passed on I was told. I cried. My family friends were so upset, Vern had been there next door neighbor for over 27 years... they had all been there for one another through the years. So their son told them that Vern had told me many many times, that once they put him in a "home care facility" that he was "going to let go"....I understand Vern..you had such inner strength and such a stubborn Scorpio. You suffered so much in silence for so long. I miss you already Vern.
May the angels sweep you up in their tenders wings of peace....my "dear old friend".