Sunday will mark one year since former President Jimmy Carter entered hospice care, returned to his former family home in Plains, Georgia, and gave up new life-prolonging treatments.
The anniversary is another testament to the bravery and steadfast determination of the 99-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner, even in the twilight of life, after beating cancer in 2015.
Carter was last seen publicly in November, when he showed up to attend his wife Rosalynn Carter’s funeral at Maranatha Baptist Church, where they worshiped, and said goodbye to her for the final time after 77 years of marriage.
Family members say he was determined to stick it out even after entering hospice care, in part to ensure Rosalynn would never be left alone.
“He was really honored and happy to have gone all the way with my grandmother, and that was a real treasure to him,” Jason Carter, grandson and chairman of the Carter Center’s board of directors, said. New York Times on Saturday.
Former President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter are seen in 2015. Sunday marks one year since Jimmy Carter entered hospice care and gave up life-prolonging treatment.
Carter receives hospice care in his one-story home in Plains, Georgia, which he built himself and has owned for six decades.
‘I think for some reason the way he approaches this is from a place of enormous faith. And so he just believes that, for some reason, God is not done with him yet,” she added.
Rosalynn’s funeral was the only time Carter appeared publicly since entering hospice, and his frail appearance at the service alarmed friends at church and well-wishers watching on television.
But Jason Carter told the Times that, surprisingly, his grandfather’s condition has changed little since he first entered hospice care a year ago.
Although he eats and drinks little and is not especially talkative, Carter still clearly expresses his desires and is able to absorb information about the world.
“One of the things that has struck me is that there are things about life and the spirit that simply cannot be understood,” Jason Carter told the Times.
‘I don’t know what it’s like for him right now. I don’t know what it’s like to face this moment the way he’s been facing it for the last year. But it’s been liberating for me to know that I just don’t know. And that’s fine.’
Carter spends his days in the Plains home he has owned for more than six decades, where caregivers tend to his needs and friends and family visit him.
Jimmy Carter at his wife Rosalynn’s funeral, wearing a red necklace in her honor. The November service was his only public appearance since he entered hospice care.
The one-story, two-bedroom ranch home was built by Carter himself and is worth about $240,000.
“I walked in the other day and he smiled, we were talking to him about a meal in the future, and he told us exactly what he wanted for dinner the next night,” Jill Stuckey, an old friend from Plains who visits him regularly, told the Times. .
Stuckey is the superintendent of the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site, which plans to host a panel discussion on Carter’s life on Monday, in conjunction with Presidents’ Day.
Historians Dr. Larry Cook, Stanly Godbold, Jr. and local Americus Mayor Lee Kinnamon will discuss Carter’s local, national and international impact.
The discussion at 10 a.m. ET is open to the public and will also be available to view via a live stream on the park facebook page.
“He’s broken records for decades: oldest president, longest-married president,” Stuckey said.
“It has always been on President Carter’s terms. This is how he lives and this is how he will die.