Mary left for Kenya yesterday evening a little after six PM Miami time. Our watch on the BA website indicates that her plane arrived at Heathrow a little late, but in plenty of time for her to catch the plane to Nairobi, even with the very long lines at that airport. We went to church yesterday morning, and she spoke at the worship service about her work in Kenya. The church has a big screen that drops down at the front of the sanctuary, and during the talk she displayed some scenes from RVA. We thought it might be a sad day, yesterday, with her leaving us, but she gave such a good talk that it encouraged all of us about what she is doing at Kijabe. It was sad day, but it also was full of joy and encouragement.
On the way back from the airport, we went by Epworth to see Juanita. (She lives at Epworth Retirement Village and has been for several years, in its "independent living section".) She returned there on Tuesday of last week. We arranged for aides to be there 'round the clock. Hospice nurses were there for the first four days as well, and now visit once a day, as we expected. Our friend, Sharon Hicks, an RN who just retired from Jackson Medical Center and whose mother Mary lives at Epworth, dropped by several times last week, talked to the aides and saw Juanita. (Sharon's sister, Nancy Jones, is our senior paralegal.) Carol and I went by there after work during the week and Saturday and Sunday. (That will be our pattern. There are some recurring needs for her household as we go forward and the aides need our encouragement. And, of course, we just want to see her.) Other people are visiting. The aides, who seem to be gentle and competent, by now know that a lot of people care for Juantia.
She is very quiet. Sleeps most of the time. Eats and drinks very little. She cannot sit up or get out of bed. Each day she seems less responsive. She does not seem to be terribly uncomfortable, and of course the medication is there to help with pain. My sister will come visit again at the end of the week and bring Audrey. My Aunt Ann plans to come for a short visit a week from today. I think Juanita will still be here by then, but I am glad that Macon, Walter, and Mary got to say good-bye. We pray that the Lord will take her gently, while she sleeps, and know it will be in his good time.