A little more than three years ago, Matt suffered an injury to his foot while working on his farm that just never healed. At the time I think he was 88 and had never missed a day of working on his farm. Since then he's had part of his foot removed and has been staying in the Sigourney Nursing Home. Rosemary moved to town and last spring they sold 10 acres of the farm that Matt and she have lived on for more than 64 years.
A few weeks ago, Matt developed an infection in his foot that they were unable to get under control with antibiotics and fluids. Because he is a long time diabetic (doesn't heal well) and in frail health, the doctor would not do surgery to remove his foot for fear that they would lose him. Earlier this week, he was admitted to the hospital in Iowa City to see what they could do to get the infection under control besides surgery. By this time, his blood had become septic (not good) and he was in alot of pain. They started giving him big doses of powerful antibiotics to try to get rid of the infection, but the effort has been futile. Matt hasn't had an appetite all week and is pretty much sleeping all of the time. As of yesterday, the doctors decided the antibiotics weren't working. And, as of right now, they are only giving him morphine to keep him comfortable. It's looking like we may only have Matt with us on this Earth another two to three weeks.
What an incredible life he's lead:
- Respected in is community.
- Loved by everyone who knows him.
- Never says a harsh word about anyone or towards anyone.
- Hard working, determined and tenacious farmer.
- Beautiful family, grandchildren and great grand children.
- Married 65 years in November.
While the thought of losing him makes me cry, I also think Matt is ready. It's really weird to type that... but I think he knows there is work for him to do in Heaven, where his body won't ache and he can farm to his heart's content. That gives me comfort.
I adore John's family and hold a very special place in my heart for Matt... and most importantly, I want to be there for John. My heart is very heavy because commitments this weekend prevented me from going along to Iowa. John said he would give him some BB love and if all goes well this week, maybe I can go next weekend. But, just in case I don't get to say, "Goodbye" in person, I know Matt knows how much I love and adore him. I feel like he's my Grandpa, too.
For the next couple weeks, please send tons of good thoughts and prayers to Matt in Iowa, to his daughters (John's mom, Gertie, and her sisters), to Rosemary and all of the Richardson clan. It's going to be a long two or three weeks. We'll need all the help we can get.
UPDATE: John returned from Iowa on Sunday. Since then his Grandpa is out of the hospital and back in the Sigourney Nursing Home so he can be close to family and they can keep him comfortable. I'll keep you updated over the next few weeks. Thanks for everyone's e-mails and good thoughts / prayers.