Standing The Watch:
The Greatest Gift
By R. J. Brown
Big River Press
You may think by reading the blurbs for Standing the Watch: The Greatest Gift by R. J. Brown that this book is about death and dying. It is not!
This book is about Life! And giving the greatest gift that can be given to a parent or loved-one(s)—giving them the best possible life they can have as they live out their last days, months or years! For my mother, who had been living with me for many years, it was not a time of turmoil as I cared for her. She simply and quietly died in her sleep. I had only one thing to do for her right then—I immediately put a new pair of slippers on her worn feet as she had asked me to do.
But for some individuals, there are not only medical issues to be attended to; there are logistical issues of concern, based upon where a family lives. And then there is the burden that is placed on the caregiver(s) as time goes on and stress and strain develops.
Standing the Watch in its second edition provides not only specific issues to consider, but, more importantly, in my opinion, the writer shares exactly what happens—both the good and the “not so good.”
David and Rebecca had already made a commitment to Lincoln, David’s father, that he would live with them after his wife died. And after many years, as Lincoln’s health failed to a point that he was considered terminal, he asked for another commitment—for him to be allowed to die at home. Standing the Watch is the story that centers in on those final days of Lincoln’s life¾a story that should be read by everyone old enough to understand and grieve at the death of another! It should also be read and taken as a learning tool for pastors, doctors and friends of those who are caregivers!
I found that I could read this story from two sides—as a potential friend of Rebecca and David, as they lived through their pain and worry. The other side, as an individual who could very well be in the role of caring for loved ones in their declining years. This book does not need a review that tells you about the storyline, for we all know what occurs. It does, however, give you specifics about what must be done at that time, in one book, with places to make notes...and with checklists that can be reproduced easily and used!
Rebecca writes this book as if she is sitting, talking to you. You feel her disgust when Lincoln, who had been a missionary, has a pastor who cannot be bothered to visit him during his last days. You see her inclusion of email friends’ notes, which obviously were so meaningful that they kept her and David going when inner strength was sagging. But, no matter what, you will see the love of a family, facing one of the toughest, most life-changing events in anybody’s life—the loss of a loved one.
This book should be on your home bookshelf because you never know when it will be needed—to share with others in the same situation, to learn and brace yourself for the future, or to guide you day by day as you and a loved-one face the dance to the death. Some readers will search for this book at that time; but I urge you to read and be prepared...for Standing the Watch really is about now—and living and loving!
G. A. Bixler
For IP Book Reviewers