I have a lovely story for you. It’s a sad but beautiful story and it comes at the perfect time, because I have slowly been losing faith in people.
My father has spent most of his life as a roofer. Roofing is a tough and unglamorous profession but it’s something he loved doing and took pride in it. He didn’t make a lot of money doing it, but he made enough.
I remember when I was a kid, he went back to school to learn how to be an energy efficient roofer. Going back to school in Halifax was not easy for my father. But he did it. And after many years of working for other roofing companies, he went out on his own to work for himself.
Dr. Abrial, my father’s palliative care doctor, is directing my parents in how he can die at home comfortably. Getting a hospital bed was one of the things he advised them to do. My mother looked into renting a bed, but in considering that my father, who has outlived expectations, by like, twelve months, mom thought it might be more economical to look into purchasing a used one.
Anyway, my mother, being ever so resourceful, asked around. She asked my uncle, who is a driver for Senior Wheels, and he said he heard of someone trying to sell a hospital bed. My mother and father drove up to see it one evening.
The man trying to sell this bed didn’t really want much for it. He just wanted to get it out of his way. He had it for his father who had Muscular Dystrophy. He was young, had a young family and, ironically, was just starting out on his own as a roofer. Imagine that.
Anyway, my parents said they’d take it and that they’d have someone come and pick it up in the morning. He was way up in Newburn and my parents live in Aburndale, about a 45-minute drive, it was late, and my parents drive an Echo.
He looked at my dad, who is getting weak and carries an oxygen tank, and he said to my dad, “You want to sleep in this bed tonight, don’t you?” My dad, barley able to talk because of the growing tumor in his neck says, “No no, I’ll have someone come with a truck in the morning.” The guy said, “No, me and my worker, we’ll load it on the truck and deliver it tonight.”
It was pitch dark when he and another guy delivered the bed as promised. They carried down a fairly long driveway to the house, up the steps, moved the existing furniture and set it up. My mother was telling me the story and we both fell apart. See, that, what those young guys did, that is something my father would have done, and probably did many times over.
He didn’t want to take anything for the bed. My mother insisted. Then dad laid in the bed, the first time he’s been able to lay down in months, opting instead for a recliner chair to keep the pressure off his chest. Mom said he looked at her and said that, people are good, and it’s the thing he’ll miss most.