Monday, January 23, 2012

News From Home About Cousin Debbie Donovan

Words can't even begin to explain how I feel. Shocked. Sad. Disbelief. I did not get word that my cousin was gravely ill until 3 days ago (Friday). By then, she could not talk save for a whisper here and there, so I will not be able to communicate with her by way of phone.
Even though I am not ready to let her go, let her go, I must. My heart aches...

(3 sisters l-r: cousin Dinnie, cousin Rosie and cousin Debbie)

And, in a more detailed email from my brother Robert from a visit before she went into hospice on Jan. 12th:

Aloha ku’u family,

Cousin Debbie Donovan was experiencing some odd pains and the inability
(temporary) to walk a number of months ago. Just after her retirement from
Sheraton. by the late Fall, it was diagnosed as cancerous tumors; one in
the lower back, one in the spine near the neck and a third on the spine
behind her chest. When I visited at Queens Hospital 12 Jan we had a nice
time together wala’au, even as the pain in her groin and the intermittent
closure of autonomic lower body functions gave her grief.  She wasn’t on
heavy pain management then.  She was in good spirits then, although we
cried a bit while pule together, saying something like “family is what you’ve 

really got going for you when things don’t look so good”.  Hospice was
already in the planning, and one of the doctors there verified by her
demeanor that this was terminal.  Peculiar it was, as Debbie was her
vivacious conversational self, and we both laughed and reminisced about
the ol’ days.  I was very surprised that hospice for her began last week;
now she’s at St. Francis West Hospice, a facility behind the main
hospital, in Ewa.  I visited last night, and Dinnie Girl, Sharen and her
son Darren were there visiting; Rosie had just left for home.  Dinnie and
Rosie are often there all day, and Bob too. Debbie is now on
pain-management; on morphine and methadone, as the tumors in the spine
cause her skin to be painfully sensitive, too.  Even though in and out of
consciousness, she enjoys the banter and reacts by smiling and chuckling -
she’s in on the conversation to boot.  We pule together, the 5 of us,
before leaving, and I told Debbie that all of her cousins and ‘ohana far
and near are with her in solidarity and in prayer - that notion really
does comfort and buoy her spirit.  The doctors told Dinnie that Debbie
could die at anytime, that insidious is the cancer.  After a Franciscan-
Mr. Marianne fete at Kalaupapa today, I’ll visit Debbie again Sunday
afternoon, and again relay our ‘ohana’s love and prayer.  St. Damien, pray
for us.  Blessed Marianne, intercede for us.  May God’s love, peace  and
consolation remain with all of us in all of our life-journeys, Amen.

Love, rob


Anonymous said...

That was beautiful Paula and thank you so much for recognizing my mom this way! She is an amazing person and has touched so may people that the love is pouring in from everywhere! We are all sp grateful and it does make this time a little better! Good words help the heart always! Love will never go away! Kim Bryant

Anonymous said...

My prayers and love are with you all during this painful time. My heart goes out to your ohana.

Much love and my heartfelt sympathy,
Dee M. Trupp
Star of the Sea High School
Honolulu, Hawaii


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