Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Esther's Friends: "I Love Your Mom"

"Tell her Paula said hello.  I love your Mom."  Sentiments from the receptionist at Dr. Kirkland's office echoed those of many others from the Liberty Church, the Liberty Community, relatives (especially all of our cousins), neighbors, friends and others (continuing through Facebook in the months that she's been declining).

Esther Jean Clayton Jonas, now is "Home with Hospice" at our home near Bellbrook.   She has lived 90 years of loyalty, patience and presence.  She was always there. Her connections through church and events such as the Liberty Church Socials where she donated baked goods, Liberty women's groups such as The Secret Sisters and Home Extension, Dad's activities such as The Liberty Fire Department and Monarch Marking Systems, neighborhood events such as The Back Street Party transmitted her open heart and acceptance of others.

She outlived the Liberty women from the old days except Pete Hammond, her pal who went out for sandwiches with her.  Gladys, Henrietta, Mickie, Pauline, Helen, Clarbel, Evy, Pearl, Ruth, and others have preceded her to Heaven and may be pleased when she arrives.  A special moment was her hug with Pete on the day she moved out of her home to come live with us due to her medical situations.

Fanny Cappel and William Jesse Clayton raised her well on Orchard Street in Dayton, just down the block from Roosevelt High School, with her older sister Lois (Winge- mother of Jon, Nora and Sara who all live in CA).  They built a home on Back Street (Now Longbourne St.) in the late 1940's across the street from Art, Esther, Mike and Pat.  Esther became part-time caretaker of Fanny when she developed severe Rheumatoid Arthritis and was wheelchair bound (Before the light, slick modern wheelchairs).  Mike and Pat were big winners with both sets of grandparents within 100 feet (did you say ice cream?).  Grandpa Art Jonas had a pastry truck come to  our house on many Saturday mornings just in case we were hungry (as he had been growing up in a tiny home with seven or so siblings and a father they referred to as "The Kaiser"- yes he was from Germany).  Esther may have had to contend with two sons who were a bit spoiled.

She sewed a lot and baked a lot.  Her "sticky-buns" are a favorite in the family and extended family. Mike and I used to love to lick the beaters of the mixer that was supporting the baking of chocolate items.

She is bedfast now with the oxygen support and electric hospital bed provided by Hospice.  She doesn't notice that she's short of breath or extremely weak, like her brain didn't want to be bothered so it turned off messages about the body.  Companions who do personal care from Senior Pathways come daily like angels and help where Mom can't care for herself.  Hospice nurses are a specially blessed group in general and those with The Hospice of the Miami Valley (Beverly and Cheryl so far) are blessed, too and highly skilled.  Mom even hears them when they speak to her, like God translates words through her moderate deafness.   Therapy provided by Buckeye Home Health, which delivered caring nursing professionals and aids before Mom shifted to Hospice of The Miami Valley, came briefly to see if Mom could get strong enough to be able to transfer from bed to wheel chair for bathing and bathroom, but the heart weakened more with the message of impending demise, and she may not be able to regain the leg strength.  Hospice got oxygen for her which provided considerable comfort.

Mike and Pat (me) are supporting her last adventure.  We had  a Jonas Euchre party on Memorial Day to honor the Jonas tradition developed by my Grandpa Art and Grandma Mary Jonas at their home on Back Street in Liberty playing in various combinations with my Uncle Oscar and Aunt Clara Jonas.  OK, Mike and Paddy won over Patrick and I.

Esther is going to be with Scud again soon. Rebecca (Michael Jonas) has gone beyond the call of our marriage vows taken in Liberty Church 12/27/1969 by caring for her mother in law on every shift.  Patrick has helped with making lunch, lifting, greeting nurses, PT's, OT's, aids and others who have provided care to Mom and praying.  The Hospice Chaplain (Harry Stewart, M. Div.) was especially appreciated as he helped Mom with a reminder of God's Peace.

Esther and Scud at their 57th (and final) wedding anniversary in 2001 in Liberty.

God is Good.  His Love is Forever.  Especially through the hearts of Mothers.  The kindness and love is still pouring through Mom's failing heart, but her soul is forever with God.  On earth as it is in Heaven.

Mom is very thankful for the people mentioned above who she's been blessed with, and the God who has always been there for her.  The Liberty Church Bulletin that comes each week lifts her spirits as the people of that church traditionally do for many.  God has kept Liberty Church (B, UB, EUB and now UM) in his love.  That's why so many want to "Set Our Hearts at Liberty."

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