Tonie: Lona am I a burden?
Toni: Tears in his eyes. Lona why has this happened to me dear? I just don’t know what to do right now.
Lona: Rubbing Tonie’s shoulder Darling it is ok; the doctor said that there is hope by going on dialysis. They are preparing to put a catheter in your chest soon so that you can begin treatment. Things will get better ok honey?
His wife Lona has worked with the medical team to find Tonie a dialysis facility near his home, before leaving the hospital. He begins starting treatment at that facility and he has so many mixed emotions flooding through his head. He is grateful for the dialysis treatments, but he feels like he is a burden to his wife.
As the months passes by, Tonie has begin having even more health issues. He had a light stroke and is having difficulty walking and doing the tasks that he is use to doing.
Lona recently quit her good job to give Tonie, all of her attention and make sure that he is ok. Tonie feels so sad about this and doesn’t know what to do but to look at hospice care. He doesn’t want to be a burden to his wife or family, so he begins to give up hope all over again.
It was a Monday evening on a cool sunny day and Tonie had just finished his 4 hour treatment, and is waiting outside for his oldest son Mike to pick him up from the dialysis facility. While waiting he decides to phone his wife and tell her of his latest decision.
Lona: Hey babe, what’s up? How are you feeling? I have your favorite meal waiting for you when you come home. Did Mike pick you up yet?
Tonie: Sighs. Babe, I’ve decided to make a decision that would end the burden the I am causing.
Lona: WHAT KIND OF DECISION TONIE?
Tonie: Lona, well I’ll tell you when I get home, because I want you to be cool, calm and collected, you know the three C’s?
Mike spots his father outside the dialysis facility and pulls up in front of him.
Tonie: Takes off his shoes and sits on the bed. Lona, I love you dear, I deeply care for you, but it pains me to know how much you and the kids have sacrificed for me. I don’t want to go on any longer like this dear. I prefer hospice treatment at this point honey.
Lona begins crying.
Tonie: Now honey, don’t cry please, this is the best decision right now. I’m tired of depending on others to help me and see about me.
Lona: Wiping her tears. Honestly Tonie, I don’t mind sacrificing my all for you and none of us have complained about being by your side, because we love you. I made a vow at the wedding altar to be there for you in sickness and in health. For years, you have been there for me and the kids time and time again. When I cut my finger off in the car accident and couldn’t work, you did everything for me. You are a good husband Tonie, and father. You have made time out of your busy work schedule to be at every game our children had, and was supportive of them in different unique ways. Your old co-workers are still calling to see how you are doing as well as the many organizations you have donated to over the years. It really hurts me to hear this from you Tonie. Although I do respect your decision to receive hospice care, I want you to know that this decision affects me negatively. I will be without a husband to love and care for, and our children would be without their father. All because his father felt that he was a burden. How many times do we all have to tell you that YOU ARE NOT A BURDEN TONIE. I just can’t deal Tonie, with this kind of talk.
Again Tonie, I respect your decision, but at the same time I disagree with it. I just want you to give it more thought babe. Lona voice trails off with tears still failing down her cheeks she sits on the bed by Tonie and he puts his hand on her shoulders and wipes her tears.
Tonie: Ok babe don’t cry. It’s very rare that I see you like this. It hurts me just to see you crying like this. Honey I don’t mean to hurt you or our family in any way. Lona slowly interrupts.
Lona: It gave me joy to quit my job to be here for you. It is even better for me not working at that crazy job. With our savings I was able to open up a laundromat and everything is working out. I do have the time to love you hunny. Lona cries again and puts her head in her hands.
Tonie: Babe...Babe! Look at me! Tonie raises Lona’s head and wipes her tears. Honey I will never do something to hurt you, forget about the hospice decision OK? I didn’t think that life was worth living but I see know how valuable my presence is to you, as well as the kids. Tonie then begins crying and mumbling. Baby I’m sorry for hurting you like this.
Later that evening after the crying mixed with hope, they both went into the kitchen to warm up the food then to the dining room to eat.
From that day forth, Tonie values each day he wakes up, and began viewing dialysis as a stepping stone to encourage others in the waiting area to appreciate life.