A senior who helped his wife hand out thousands of thank-you cards to truck drivers during the pandemic is going into hospice care on Thursday.
Richard and Beverley Perrin from Chatham, Ont. began their monthly visits to service centers and a truck stop in Tilbury, Ont. in April last year.
Richard, fondly known as Dick, 77, has been hospitalized for the past two months, and will be moved to a hospice in Chatham.
“It is bittersweet, but he will be comfortable and peaceful. He’s been having dreams of family and friends who have passed away,” said Beverley, 76.
Richard underwent abdominal bypass surgery this July and had felt healthier for the next nine weeks. He then had a small heart attack and was in hospital for four days, Beverley said. He was sent home, and a week-and-half later suffered a stroke. It affected the sight in his left eye and some cognitive functions. A scan two weeks later revealed cancer in both lungs and his left kidney wasn’t working.
Despite all the challenges they are facing, Richard has told Beverley not to stop delivering cards to truckers, so she will be handing out Christmas cards next week “snow or shine.”
Beverley said on Wednesday the nurses at the hospital were talking to Richard about her delivering the cards to truckers. She said Richard told them if he were well enough, he would be out there with her.
Beverley, and their daughter Heather, have been taking turns to be with Richard during lunch and supper for the past two months. “We are chronically tired; I think that’s the way caregivers get. But to skip giving Christmas cards to the truckers goes against my grain,” Beverley said.
She didn’t go out in November because she was writing out 140 Christmas cards. Beverley says she keeps some in her car and hands them out to drivers she sees delivering goods at the back of stores.
Beverley, a retired nurse, said Richard is failing really fast. “It just isn’t fair to Richard, he was such an active man, so giving to everybody. He’s had the whole shebang thrown at him. There has to be a reason for all this. We are just learning to take it a day at a time.”
If you would like to send a card or letter to Richard, and Beverley promises she will read them to him, you can mail it to:
34 Wellington Street East
Chatham, ON N7M 3N7
You can also email Beverley at email@example.com
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