Sunday, March 3, 2013


# 1     February 16, 2013

You Never Know at the Start, What Will Come at the End

November 4, 2002, about 4:00 in the morning I woke up.  Lilly was sitting on the side of the bed.  She was rocking back and forth.  I spoke to her, but she didn’t answer.  She indicated a trip to the bathroom.  I helped her walk there and back.  We lay down again… thinking what was happening might go away.   (How foolish!) 

When I awoke again, there seemed to be no change.  We walked down the stairs together.  She sat on a chair beside her piano.  I said I would call the Rockford Hospital.  She shook her head vehemently.  I didn’t understand.  I knew she needed a Hospital.  She reached into her purse and brought out her medicine bottle.  She shook it at me, to show me the Dr.s name.  Then I understood, Swedish American Hospital.  Our friend Ed came to drive us to the emergency room. 

The stroke had taken her voice and her right arm.  Her right leg dragged, but held as she limped along.  Over time she completely recovered and even played the piano again.  The second one came at breakfast, July 15, 2005.  She had just eaten.  I was making something for myself.  She went to our sitting room.  I brought my saucer to sit with her.  It couldn’t have been more than two minutes.  Her eyes were shut, she was breathing hard and  couldn’t respond.

This time I immediately called the Ambulance.  The nearest hospital was Dixon.  They advised treatment with my consent.  She was then flown by helicopter to Sweds.  After each event, she had also been weeks in Van Mater Rehab, Hosp.  This time, the stroke had taken her ability to speak or swallow.  Her recovery seemed complete, except for those problems.  We fed her through a stomach tube.  She seldom made sound.  But sometimes we laughed so much that she could, too.  She would clap her hands with joy.  She never quit being her own joyful self!  Her mental faculties and her love for life never failed.

Joanna had come after the second stroke, in time for Lilly’s home coming.  February 16 had been a fairly nice day.  Toward evening, we decided to go for a drive.  So the three of us started up highway 2, through Byron.  About a mile past, we hit a patch of black ice.  Traffic coming toward us had been on ice the whole way from Rockford.  So they were traveling at about five miles an hour.  Joanna and Lilly were in the front seat.  I was behind Lilly.  Our car turned cross way in the road and slid into the front of an oncoming pick-up.

Joanna was injured but not hospitalized.  Lilly and I had broken ribs, punctured lungs and other broken bones.  Her body died and she flew to Heaven about 11:00 p.m.  What a grand reunion, we will have some great, glad, glorious morning.


  1. Carlton, thanks for sharing as I know it is painful to recall all of this but what a blessed hope we have in Jesus!!! Thanks for all your post- they are soooo valuable!! love, Paul

    1. Welcome, Paul. Thanks for the encouragement.

  2. My heart hurts for and with you in Lilly's passing. We never know what the vow of "in sickness and health" until we walk through some very difficult days. I'm grateful God is always there to walk with us.
    Love you.