A friend of this writer messaged a group of us the other day and said, “Please pray for my friend Robert. He’s a good man and a good cowboy. He’s in his final hours. He got diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer 3 months ago. Took the diagnosis like a man and is dying like one too.”
He told us he was pretty torn up and would relay more of the story later. The following day he sent the voice message transcribed below.
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I was on my way yesterday to feed some cows and I had a question on some mineral. I didn’t know who to call. I thought hmm…I’ll call Robert, just so he knows people are thinking about him.
You try not to call a guy that’s got a finite amount of time left. You know, I didn’t want to take any time away from his being with his family for however long he had left to live.
So I hadn’t bothered him before that. He needs to spend that time with his wife and kids. Anyway I had a little itch and it said, call Robert.
So I pick up the phone and call Robert, and his wife answers. And I said, “Hey is Robert there?” And crying, she said, “Robert is here. He is not able to answer anymore. But if you want to see him, you need to come now—he’s in his final hours.”
I said, “I’m on my way.”
So I pick my dad up. We drive up there, about 25 minutes. We go in, Robert is in there with eyes open, and not responsive outside of being able to squeeze our hands.
She had told us in the driveway, just tell him everything is going to be okay, and to quit fighting it. And you know, it’s the saddest thing ever ‘cause this is a guy who’s been helping our family with cattle for forty years.
We went in there and sat next to him in his recliner. We were quiet for about five minutes, didn’t say anything ‘cause it was so gut-wrenching to look at a guy who was so strong. It went back to the old saying of, once a man, twice a baby. That really summed it up.
Once we got the courage to speak, I grabbed his hand and said, “It’s going to be okay, Robert.” My dad said, “Don’t be afraid.”
We both just held his hand and hugged his neck. His wife was crying, so we hugged on her. We sat there and talked to Robert like nothing had ever changed. And then he started breathing a lot softer and was a lot more calm.
His wife said, “You should have come over two days ago—maybe he would’ve got some relief. For some reason he really likes you guys.”
We hugged her and then we hugged his daughters and his cousin, and told Robert goodbye. We went outside, got in the truck, and that’s when I messaged you guys, asking you to pray for easy passage. And literally five minutes after we walked out that door, he passed away.
He wasn’t that old you know, and it’s a strange experience being there at someone’s deathbed in the final moments. At the end he wanted to not be scared. And I’m going to hang my hat on not procrastinating on going to see somebody. That’s the story.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” -Rev. 21