Entries tagged with “wheelchair”.


Today at 6:08 am this morning Beth died, she past on in her sleep as she wanted to.

We had gathered the night before to see her and say goodbye as she really had deteriorated since the previous Sunday. Her sons and their girlfriends, David and Megan, Steve and Angelina, her brother Keith and his best friend Jo Ann, her brother Larry and his partner Jeff and myself. We all took turns visiting her throughout the day and she recognized every one of us.

I sent an email to Larry asking if I could “move in” so I could be close by for the end. Well I had already packed and arrived when I received his answer. So I went in to see Beth and she was sleeping and the movie Devils Advocate was playing on the TV next to her. Since it was on DVD I know it was a request, though ironic. I sat with her for about 1.5 hours, I kissed her several times and thanked her for a wonderful life that she had given me. While I sat there I also thought about all of the great things and good times we had together.

Later that night, we had a family meeting to see where everyone was emotionally and to make sure they are ready for what was about to happen.

Keith and Jo Ann left for the night, the kids, Jeff and Larry played dominoes. I had to leave because I forgot something. I headed out at about 10:15 pm and got back about 1130 pm. It was tough getting to sleep as I would peer over the railing of the loft to check on her.

I had checked on her at about 4:50 am and she was still breathing. Shortly after 6 am I heard her brother Larry come into the room as I was in the loft above, I looked over the railing and he looked up at me and said “she’s not breathing”. I came down the stairs and confirmed what he had said.

Beth Minnesota Science Museum 2002
Beth Minnesota Science Museum 2002

Beth Navy Pier 2002
Beth Navy Pier 2002, my favorite picture I have taken of her.

For those of you who never knew her or maybe only through my writing you missed a wonderful person. She always had a spark of immaturity that made her always seem younger than she really was.

She was the first person in my life who I felt true love for and received it just as well. I loved her more than anything in life, she will truly be missed.

Minutes after the end.
Minutes after the end

Elizabeth Ann Loretto McDonnell
10-08-1956 / 08-20-2010 53 Years Old
Bethy, I love you.

Dave

Well Beth moves to Larry and Jeff’s house today, by the way it’s a 103 degrees, hottest day of the year. When I walked in I found it funny, there were discussing what foods she likes, See, having lived with her for 8 years I knew all of these answers and yet it was foreign to them, well after about 10 minutes or so they finished that discussion. Eventually the discussion moved on to scheduling and coordinating this more (less than 20 miles). Her one brother who is a florist kept driving the point the who, what, when everything was going to be done. Now for a wedding I completely understand, but this is a person, wheelchair, meds, some clothes and some things to do books and such. We can always go back to her house and get other things. He made a comment to Beth’s oldest son to pack up the computer and have the cords neatly wound so they wouldn’t be tangled when it was set up. Her son responded that he will put the stuff in a plastic bag, of which her brother commented that he would bring some boxes out. She is not moving to Europe or anything, if the cords get tangled you just untangle them, these are not Christmas lights which can suck. Plus Beth will not be doing any of this, mostly pointing to what she wants or saying that she wants something.

For me the 4+ hours meeting was mostly humorous as most people were acting as if they were having a baby, pacing, talking 100mph, trying to get anally organized. I was angry a few times and wanted to speak up but it’s not completely my place, plus they need my help more than my attitude. I did enjoy the shock when they found out Beth and I had gone to Walgreens. “Did you walk”, “How did you get to the van?”, “did you have your oxygen”.

First off the walk from her bedroom to the front door is farther than the door to the van. Second of all I know how to work a wheelchair as I have assisted my mom, which even involved lifting her. You know once she is in the van the rest is easy, open the van door, stand and then sit in the wheelchair, done. O well she had fun getting out and I am glad she did, I think it was good for her. She was a little scared before we left because shes afraid she might fall or pass out. I told her we can take as long as necessary. I got everything in the van, we checked the oxygen tank it was full and operational. She sat on the couch for a few minutes and then we were out the door on the way to the van. She did that with no issue what so ever so off we were. We got to Walgreens and ironically we parked right in front of the door, she has the tags but sometimes this one can be busy with handicap parking. I got out and setup the wheelchair, rolled to her side of the car and opened the door. She got out and made it without issue, I folded out the foot rests and in the store we went. First stop was to get some readers, it took a bit to find the “style” she was looking for but we found a pair she liked, then headed to magazines for some PennyPress puzzle books. She flipped through a few and settled on 2 and off to checkout. She put the items up on the counter and gave her bank card to me. They finished ringing us up and I began the card process, the guy looked at me at little weird, maybe he was trying to figure out if we were married or mother and son, I just gave him a “what the F” look and we left. We headed home without issue and she made it back in the house as well. She had a coughing fit after we were home for about 20 minutes but it was over in about 5-7 minutes and all was good.

While there I fixed the front door handle, backed up her computer and some other small things. Jo Ann came over, she and I had pizza delivered, watched some TV with Beth, she eventually went to lay down. Jo Ann began to do some of her work and I finished the computer. Beth asked that I make her some dinner, I warmed up the spaghetti I made her the other day and some of the Italian salad I had left over from going out the other night. I brought it to her in bed made sure she was ok and I left for the night.